After a brilliant kick-off with the Classic competition of Friday (see CLASSIC REPORT here), the 2014 edition of the PSWC continues with that of Speed Slalom as soon as 8AM on Saturday. But due to some time cell mishaps, the competition started with a little delay. All the more warm-up for the contestants!


Chloé Seyrès for WorldSlalomSeries.com

Interviews by Polina Semenova

June 2014

The second day of the PSWC was very busy with the whole competition of Speed Slalom to start with, followed by the pre-qualifications and qualifications of Battle Freestyle, and by the slides and free jump contests in the evening!

Yet, that report will focus on Speed Slalom only.


Just as usual, the special Speed Slalom launch ramps of the PSWC were proudly sitting on the start lines. The qualification runs of both women's and men's categories opened the day: 53 women and 69 men had registered for that competition and only 16 of each category would remain for the final phases…


French LILY GRANJON (#4) signs the best time of the qualifications (5.009 in free start) and consequently takes the most comfortable place for the next phase, the KO Systems. Compatriot TIFFANY DERISBOURG (#15) and Italian GIORGIA CAZZANIGA (#NR) are only a handful of hundredth behind.

Unfortunately, Italian Barbara Bossi, the Current World #1 and winner of the three previous editions, couldn't come at the last minute and was missed. Her presence would have leveled up the challenge a lot! However, the other world top-5 skaters are in the place and qualify for the last phase: Italian CRISTINA ROTUNNO (#2) ranks 10th, French ZOE GRANJON (#3) 6th, and Polish KLAUDIA HARTMANIS (#5), the winner of the Classic competition, takes the 4th place. Two of the CZAPLA sisters, JUSTYNA (#20) and PAULINA (#23) also qualify, respectively 7th and 13th.

Except for these three Polish, the rest of the Top-16 of the qualifications is essentially Italian and French!


1 Lily GRANJON (FRA, #4) 5.009
2 Tiffany DERISBOURG (FRA, #15) 5.034
3 Giorgia CAZZANIGA (ITA, #NR) 5.075
4 Klaudia HARTMANIS (POL, #5) 5.079
5 Francesca CONZI (ITA, #41) 5.099
6 Zoé GRANJON (FRA, #3) 5.121
7 Justyna CZAPLA (POL, #20) 5.132
8 Chiara PURICELLI (ITA, #36) 5.162
9 Barbara CODAZZI (ITA, #45) 5.164
10 Cristina ROTUNNO (ITA, #2) 5.167
11 Perrine OUDOT (FRA, #268) 5.173
12 Chiara LUALDI (ITA, #11) 5.200
13 Paulina CZAPLA (POL, #23) 5.365
14 Chloé ARBONA (FRA, #84) 5.372
15 Federica BERTELLI (ITA, #54) 5.407
16 Tiphaine BOURBON (FRA, #22) 5.427


The FORT Brothers, JIMMY (#22) and YOHAN (#27), strike hard as soon as the first phase in taking the lead of the qualifications with respective best times of 4.415 and 4.430 in free start. Italian SIMONE NAI OLEARI (#1) is hot on their heels, only one thousandth behind them. Just like in the women's, some serious top-level skaters made the trip and qualify for the final phase: Brazilian DIEGO DE AJAUJO (#4) and Chinese GUO FANG (#2) take the 6th and 7th places, French ALEXANDRE CLARIS (#5) and Italian record-man SAVIO BRIVIO (#11) are at the 11th and 12th places. All the 16 names may not ring a bell to you but they shouldn't be taken lightly for all that. Let's talk facts and figures:

• In order to be part of the fastest 16, you had to be under 4.75.

• The first 15 are under the bar of the 4.7's.

• The first 9 are under the 4.6's.

• …And the first 6 are UNDER THE 4.5's.

• To finish with, the Top 16 fits in 0.333 seconds.


1 Jimmy FORT (FRA, #22) 4.415
2 Yohan FORT (FRA, #27) 4.430
3 Simone NAI OLEARI (ITA, #1) 4.431
4 Matteo ALLEGRINI (ITA, #18) 4.434
5 Alan RAYER (FRA, #39) 4.446
6 Diego DE ARAUJO (BRA, #4) 4.469
7 Fang GUO (CHN, #2) 4.517
8 Lorenzo GUSLANDI (ITA, #21) 4.554
9 Marcos PLINIO (ESP, #36) 4.578
10 Hervé GUILLOU (FRA, #45) 4.609
11 Alexandre CLARIS (FRA, #5) 4.617
12 Savio BRIVIO (ITA, #11) 4.628
13 Enrico LA VOLPE (ITA, #302) 4.646
14 Alessandro BRAMBILLA (ITA, #9) 4.663
15 Marco ROSATO (ITA, #34) 4.674
16 Roberto ROSATO (ITA, #25) 4.748

Such ridiculous time differences bring the promise of spectacular pair fights for the next phase: the KO Systems!

Matteo Allegrini Vs. Alexandre Claris / Credit: M.Allegrini
Matteo Allegrini Vs. Alexandre Claris / Credit: M.Allegrini



L.GRANJON VS T.BOURBON - A twist in the situation happens as soon as the first pair of the 8th final. The fight goes wrong for the first-qualified Lily Granjon who is knocked out in three runs by last-qualified Tiphaine Bourbon. Having won one run each, they go for a third one: a strike on the one hand, a perfect on the other hand. Clear-cut.

Z.GRANJON VS P.OUDOT - Her sister Zoé Granjon comes close to suffer the same fate against outsider Perrine Oudot who stands up to her opponent with pugnacity: three perfect runs with faster and faster times. The last run is a victory in 5.609 against 5.690 for Zoé. It was close.

C.LUALDI VS F.CONZI - The last 3-run group of the eights finals gathers Italians Chiara Lualdi, the favorite at the world ranking, and Francesca Conzi, the favorite at the qualification ranking. A fight so stressful that Chiara makes two false starts in a row on her second run which enables her opponent to tie. A third run is needed, it's Francesca's turn not to hold the pressure... and Chiara's to make the better of it.


All but one groups are played in three runs.

T.DERISBOURG VS C.ROTUNNO - But the most awaited meeting is between Tiffany Derisbourg, the second best time at the qualifications, and Cristina Rotunno, the world no.2 who qualified at the uncomfortable place of 10th because of cone penalties. The first run is in the 5.4's and the second is played in the 5.5's. They win one run each. At the start of the third run, you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. The Beep rings out, the skaters launch themselves into the cones... Italian strike. One of the most threatening skaters is out.


T.DERISBOURG VS Z.GRANJON - Sustaining her momentum, Tiffany Derisbourg knocks out her team mate Zoé Granjon. The meeting wasn't devoid of suspense though. Zoé secures her first run with a perfect, a strategy that almost paid off as she finds herself less than a hundredth behind Tiffany and her cone penalty. She makes the most of the latter's tripping into a hole of the asphalt during the run-up of the second run to tie. But the speed specialist holds the pressure, engages the next gear, drops under the 5.4's and wins the round despite two cone penalties. She's on her way to the final. She is about to meet Italian outsider Chiara Puricelli, who has just got rid of Klaudia Hartmanis, and who plays her first international competition.


T.DERISBOURG VS C.PURICELLI - The final is unquestionable: The French is under the 5.5's and the Italian can't seem to get under the 5.6. Unless Tiffany makes a big mistake, the dice are cast. All it takes is two runs for the World #15 to impose herself and win the prestigious trophy. Wisdom of experience got the better of beginner's luck… this time at least!


"Reaching the final was harder than the final itself. I qualified 2nd behind Lily Granjon which didn't make things easy for me. For the final I was confident and I counted on my experience, knowing that it was Chiara's first international contest. But she has a great potential, being so young and already that strong.
My dream of winning the PSWC came true. Not much for the win, but for getting my name on the cup! That victory really motivates me to win the World Championships, thanks to it, I feel I can do it now."


"I've been skating for 6 years now, I'm a student of Davide Piacentini (Note: current world champion). I didn't even think about finishing in the top-8, so reaching the final and getting the second place was just unthinkable.
For the moment my results depend on the days, I'm not constant yet. It's all the more motivating to train more."

Women's Podium / Credit: Papy Dom
Women's Podium / Credit: Papy Dom



The 16 men who managed to slip through the net of the qualifications owe it to nothing but their skills. Luck is not to be taken into consideration here. Only a third of a second separates the 16th qualified from the 1st qualified. Proof with the times of that first round: Except for three, all the runs are in the 5.3's and under...
At that level of competition where skaters are on an equal footing as for pure speed, the only criteria left are start reaction and cleanliness. Start faster than your opponent, secure your run and pray that he knocks a cone or two on his line... The skaters go through so much pressure that 6 disqualifications for false starts or strikes happen during the eighth final round.
A.CLARIS VS D. DE ARAUJO - The most challenging group with the most at stake is the last one, gathering French Alexandre Claris and Brazilian Diego De Araujo, World no.5 against World no.4. Diego takes the advantage on the first run thanks to 4 penalties on Alexandre's side, but the latter ties on the second run, and finally overtakes him on the third run with a perfect run in 5.066.
In the other groups, all the best-ranked skaters at the world ranking defeat their opponents.


In eighth finals, they were all fast. In quarter finals, the last ones standing are not only fast but experienced. In short, the 8 survivors are all eligible for gold.
At the disclosure of the groups, no one could predict the outcome of the fights. And yet, all but one are won in two runs: Jimmy Fort gets rid of Lorenzo Guslandi, and Matteo Allegrini of Savio Brivio. The third group ends on a note that leaves you wanting more: Chinese Guo Fang, the current World no.2 and multiple world champion, disqualifies himself twice under the pressure, leaving the field free to Yohan Fort.
A.CLARIS VS S.NAI OLEARI - Once more, Alexandre Claris inherits the most spectacular show of the round, this time against none the less than World no.1 Simone Nai Oleari. The Italian wins the first run with an impressive perfect in 5.064 against an impressive strike of the French. The latter refocuses and snatches the win of the second run with a time of 5.034 against 5.056! He even goes under the 5's on the last run which, despite a penalty, propels him to the semi-final, leaving Simone out of the Top-4.


J.FORT VS M.ALLEGRINI - Pressure has reached such a level that, out of the 5 runs skated during the semi-finals, 4 of them are won because of a disqualification by strike… Jimmy Fort gets only one DQ against two for his opponent Matteo Allegrini and wins his ticket to the final with -worth mentioning- two explosive runs in 4.893 (+1P) and 4.930 (perfect).
Y.FORT VS A.CLARIS - Yohan Fort wisely saves some gas left in the tank for later and secures two perfects in 5.019 and 5.052, enough to remove Alexandre Claris from the race: one strike and one penalty are not match.


"I think the final is going to be French this year. I was watching the skaters during training time and I find the Fort brothers very impressive. Amongst the competitors here today, I'd say that the strongest is Yohan Fort."



J.FORT VS Y.FORT - After a co-final following the pattern of the semi-finals, with two DQ for three runs, it is time for a family reunion: the Fort Brothers are about to confront each other for the highest step of the podium. Unfortunately, the show doesn't meet up to the expectations of neither the public nor the finalists, who were hoping for a closer fight: Yohan defeats his younger brother in only two runs.

Informally three runs. The time cells didn't stop at the first run, leaving a double awesome performance without time. Facing two perfects, the judges couldn't tell to the naked eye who arrived first. Let's add to the equipment failure a little crack in the clouds with a few raindrops threatening to postpone the final... A great recipe to increase the pressure!

Jimmy can't put up with it on the (official) first run, making a false start followed by a strike, offering a free lead to Yohan. The second run is far more interesting with Jimmy slightly in front in 4.941 against 4.975, but a cone penalty relegates him behind Yohan, who wins the second run and consequently the competition. The end.

It was meant to be, you can't go against fate:

Every two years, Yohan Fort wins the PSWC.

Since 2008.

Yohan FORT Vs. Jimmy FORT / Credit: Sebaskates
Yohan FORT Vs. Jimmy FORT / Credit: Sebaskates


"It just works like that, It's been that way since 2008.

So next year, I'm not coming." (laughs)




4  Klaudia HARTMANIS (POL)
5  Giorgia CAZZANIGA (ITA)
6  Cristina ROTUNNO (ITA)
7  Chiara LUALDI (ITA)
8  Tiphaine BOURBON (FRA)
10  Francesca CONZI (ITA)
11  Justyna CZAPLA (POL)
12  Barbara CODAZZI (ITA)
13  Perrine OUDOT (FRA)
14  Paulina CZAPLA (POL)
15  Chloé ARBONA (FRA)
16  Federica BERTELLI (ITA)


1  Yohan FORT (FRA)
2  Jimmy FORT (FRA)
4  Alexandre CLARIS (FRA)
5  Simone NAI OLEARI (ITA)
6  Fang GUO (CHN)
7  Lorenzo GUSLANDI (ITA)
8  Savio BRIVIO (ITA)
9  Alan RAYER (FRA)
10  Diego DE ARAUJO (BRA)
11  Marcos PLINIO (ESP)
12  Hervé GUILLOU (FRA)
13  Enrico LA VOLPE (ITA)
14  Alessandro BRAMBILLA (ITA)
15  Marco ROSATO (ITA)
16  Roberto ROSATO (ITA)

The Men's Podium / Credit: Tutti Photography
The Men's Podium / Credit: Tutti Photography


Chloé Seyrès for WorldSlalomSeries.com

June 2014