JWSC: Reto Schmidiger (SUI) defends slalom title

31 January 2011 18:07

FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Crans Montana (SUI), men’s slalom and ladies’ final downhill training, 31 January 2011

Switzerland’s Reto Schmidiger successfully defended his Junior World Championship title in slalom while Lotte Smiseth Sejersted of Norway again posted the fastest time in the final training of the ladies’ downhill

The 18-year-old Schmidiger claimed victory in front of the home crowd at the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Crans-Montana followed by his countrymen Justin Murisier in second and Mathias Rolland of France in third.

Already at the 2010 Junior Worlds in France, Schmidiger was in third position after the first run before claiming the top spot on the podium with an impressive second run. Ultimately, the Swiss skier from Hergiswil distanced his teammate Murisier, who almost stood still after a huge mistake in the second run, by the large margin of 1.54 seconds. Contrary to Schmidiger, Justin Murisier has already scored points on the World Cup level. In the 2010/11 season he placed eighth as his best result in slalom in Val d’ Isère. Rolland was fifth after first run and put down a good second run finishing third 2.03 seconds off the pace.

The Finn Victor Malmstrom, who was second after first run, straddled a gate half way down the course and was a DNF. The leader of the first run and giant slalom title holder, Alexis Pinturault of France suffered the same fate and went out. This left the two Swiss skiers, both born in the year 1992, in first and second place. After today’s slalom race, the two Swiss skiers, who both did well in slalom and giant slalom, are also in a good position to win a medal in the combined ranking, which includes the disciplines slalom, giant slalom and downhill.

With his victory, Schmidiger becomes the first racer ever to defend the slalom title in two consecutive years since the inauguration of the Junior World Championships in 1982.

The ladies final downhill training on Monday was more or less dominated by the same names as the day before. Norway’s Lotte Smiseth Sejersted clocked once again the fastest time, followed by Joana Haehlen and Priska Nufer, both from Switzerland. Their teammates Wendy Holdener and Jasmin Rothmund took fourth and fifth.

The ladies’ downhill race will be carried out on Tuesday along with the men’s first downhill training.