Norwegian Alpine Championships 2018
For the Norwegians, Hafjell hosted all disciplines of the National Championships and all titles were awarded this week.
With Olympic medallists at the start of the men’s downhill, the title was likely to go to either Aksel Lund Svindal or Kjetil Jansrud, but the fastest man on the hill was Adrian Smiseth Sejersted. The young athlete, who nearly scored his first World Cup podium this season at the super-G in Kvitfjell, is the new rising star in the strong Norwegian speed team. Another surprise came from Henrik Kristoffersen, who raced in downhill for the first time in four years and managed to claim a 19th place. On the ladies' side, Marte Berg Edseth (year of birth 1998 and a member of the European Cup team) posted the fasted time. She had previously won five FIS races – three in slalom and two in giant slalom.
The competitions in Hafjell continued with the alpine combined, was also won by Marte Berg Edseth for the ladies. On the men’s side, Rasmus Windingstad, eighth in the giant slalom in Kranjska Gora this season, earned the national title.
Windingstad also emerged victorious in the super-G held on Friday, a slim 0.03 seconds ahead of Sejersted. With this win, he earned his third national title. On the ladies' side, Edseth struck again and earned her third national title at this year’s championships.
The tech events in Hafjell started with giant slalom for both genders on Saturday. Ragnhild Mowinckel, who missed the beginning of the week due to illness, returned to racing and handily claimed the national title. Windingstad was once again the fastest on the men’s side, winning his third title in these championships and fourth in total.
On the final day, dedicated to the slalom, young Kaja Norbye surprised the field by winning the ladies' race ahead of World Cup skier and Stockholm winner Nina Haver-Loeseth. Norbye had only won 10 FIS races so far and scored a seventh place in the alpine combined and a eighth place in the slalom at the Junior World Championships in Davos this season. The men’s side also produced an unexpected victor. Henrik Kristoffersen, second in both the slalom and Overall rankings on the World Cup this season, finished second behind his childhood rival Simen Ramberg Christensen. The 25-year-old racer from Raelingen Ski Club's most notable result before beating Kristoffersen for the Norwegian slalom title was a fifth place in the European Cup city event in San Vigilio in 2011. He had taken several years off from competing in the sport and only recently returned to racing.
With this, all Norwegian Champions are crowned and the athletes can now enjoy the out-of-competition season, either with a well-deserved Easter break or the start of a spring camp.
Full results from this series are available here.