By Gary Anderson at Monte Bondone in Trento

December 12 - Eva Samkova was the first gold medal winner of the 26th Winter Universiade after taking the snowboard cross title ©Daniele Mosna/Trentino 2013 UniversiadeCzech Republic's Eva Samkova and Austria's They Douschan had the honour of claiming the first gold medals of the 26th Winter Universiade here as both athletes followed up good runs in the snowboard cross during yesterday's qualification to push home their advantage.

Recent International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup winner Samkova underlined her status as pre-tournament favourite by topping the standings the whole way through the competition.

The 20-year-old came into today's final ahead of teammate Chourova Katerina and Poland's Zuzanna Smykala and that finishing order was maintained as all three impressed again, but it was the three-time world junior champion who took the ultimate glory.

The Czech will now be considered a major threat at Sochi 2014.

"The snow was great, the regular layout," said Samkova.

"I felt a little pressure because I knew I was among the favourites, but everything went well.

"I'm in shape and I want to aim for the podium in Sochi."

In the men's competition, Russian Nikolay Olyunin came into the final leading after day one and many regarded the gold medal as his to lose.

Unfortunately for the 22-year-old, he did lose it but it was not down to a poor display on the slopes but an inspired performance by Douschan who overtook Olyunin on the leader-board when it mattered most to claim the Universiade title.

They Douschan accepts the applause after bagging Universiade gold at Monte Bondone today ©Daniele Mosna/Trentino 2013 UniversiadeThey Douschan accepts the applause after bagging Universiade gold at Monte Bondone today ©Daniele Mosna/Trentino 2013 Universiade

"I took the lead after the second turn and I managed to keep the pace until the finishing line," said a delighted Douschan afterwards.

"Winning this competition was my main objective here at the Universiade in Trentino."

Frenchman Leo Trespeuch demonstrated why he took the Universiade title in 2007 by coming through the field to claim a dramatic bronze after Poland's Dawid Wal had occupied the third podium spot following the first day of action.

Filippo Bazzanella, secretary general of Trentino 2013, had the honour of presenting the first medals of the Games to the victorious athletes.

One a more sombre note, the action in Monte Bondone was interrupted midway through after Austrian Lucas Pachner shipped a heavy fall and had to be taken to the nearby Santa Chiara Hospital but early reports indicate that the injury is not thought to be as serious as first feared.

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