A step into the future for Nordic Combined with first ladies’ competitions
Last weekend in Oberstdorf (GER), a big step into the future of Nordic Combined was made: the 12th Children’s Grand Prix not only saw a large increase in the number of participants to more than 100, but also the first ever international Nordic Combined competitions for ladies.
On two competition days, the boys and girls competed in two different age categories respectively: boys aged 13 and 14 years, and girls born between 2000-2003 and 1996-1999.
Diversity in the female rankings
Timna Moser (AUT), Kaja Urbanija Coz and Maja Drinovec (both SLO) entered their names into the history books as the first-ever female winners at the international level. In two of four competitions, 13-year-old Moser took victory while Urbanija Coz won the 1996-1999 and Drinovec claimed the top spot in the 2000-2003 event.
An additional competition category was held for the younger ladies on the K30 hill in which 10-year-old Lea Züfle (GER) took both victories, making it three nations taking victories in the three different categories.
Male category - Finland’s future looks bright
In the male category, Finland dominated the rankings with eight athletes claiming a podium spot in the two competition days. The Finnish success squad included double podium athletes Perttu Reponen and Waltteri Karhumaa in the S13 category and Rasmus Ähtävä and Otto Niittykoski in the S14 group.
Other successful athletes were Lenard Kersting (GER) who claimed a double third place in the S13 competitions, while teammate Jonas Jäckle and David Sachsenhofer (AUT) split the two remaining third spots in the S14 category.
FIS Nordic Combined Race Director Lasse Ottesen was very satisfied with the event: “With nine nations and 40 girls and 68 boys participating, this was the largest starting field since the Youth Cup was introduced. We are very happy to see that the nations and athletes are coming back year after year, reflecting the positive development of the young athletes. In particular the ladies’ premiere gave reason for a positive outlook into the future of Nordic Combined: 40 girls at the start showed that there is great work done by the National Ski Associations across the world.”
He continued, “The events in Oberstdorf gave us good insights into the current situation, especially about the level of and interest for Nordic Combined. The level of the competitors was much higher than expected. We are now working on a concrete plan for the future of ladies’ Nordic Combined which will be presented at the upcoming meetings in Zurich (SUI).“