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Daredevil skaters race downhill in freezing cold


The eye-catching Red Bull Crashed Ice extreme sports competition gathered some of the most reckless representatives of the international ice skating elite in Moscow.

The freezing temperatures didn't prevent thousands of spectators flocking to Kolomensky park to witness the event.

An impressive 350-metre long ice track was erected in Moscow’s Kolomensky Park for the crucial third stage of the Red Bull Crashed Ice world championship.

The downhill international ice skating elite from 24 countries were eager to put their skills to the test, at the toughest venue in the history of this new sport.

“It's the most difficult track. It's not very fast but it's very challenging as there are many obstacles coming one after another. That's why there are so many falls on the course. It's very hard to prepare for all those tricky obstructions,” says Russia's Andrey Lavrov.

Despite the freezing cold, with temperatures dropping as low as minus 22 degrees, thousands of spectators still dared to attend the event. And no one was disappointed.

The hot action melted the ice, and all eyes were on the track.

Russians are new to this kind of ice sport, but are keen to learn quickly. And Andrey Lavrov was hoping to gain some points on home ground. And he staked a major claim for a place in the final - but failed to progress at the last hurdle.

“Unfortunately I was just too tired. I was eager to produce my best result but my legs just wouldn't go. It's very hard to get prepared for such events, and it's difficult to stay in top form.”

And so the final turned out to be a fierce duel between current leaders Arttu Pilhainen of Finland, and Canada's Kyle Croxall. The flying Finn picked up where he left off from the previous event, dominating all the runs. And Pilhainen easily stormed to his second successive victory, extending his lead at the top of the rankings.

“It was a good track for me, and I managed to do almost five clear runs. I had little problems in the final after the steep part, but luckily I got my buzz back,” said Arttu Pilhainen.

“I got a slow start at the gate again, I’ve been having slow starts all night, so my legs are a little beat up, so hopefully I can improve that, get back on the ice and condition my legs a little bit before I come back so I can get some better starts,” said Pilhainen's Canadian adversary Kyle Croxall.

And there's still everything to battle for at the fourth - and decisive - stage in Quebec. So, a tense fight to the finish between Pihlainen and Croxall is anticipated on the nineteenth of March.


55° 45' 20.8296" N, 37° 37' 3.4788" E