|News from the World of Skiing|
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Adam Malysz leads the Four-Nations-Grand-Prix |
The FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping began with two competitions in Hinterzarten (GER) last weekend. In the first individual competition, Thomas Morgenstern (AUT) claimed victory as the second edition of the so-called Four-Nations-Grand-Prix started in bright sunshine on Sunday. The 2007 World Champion and overall FIS World Cup winner Adam Malysz (POL) took 2nd place before 5'000 cheering spectators. 17-year-old Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT) - who had the longest leap in the first round - finished 3rd. "The Manner Man of the Day", the so-called best not pre-qualified jumper, was Jernej Damjan (SLO), who ranked 8th and won a mountain bike as a special prize.
Team Austria, which dominated the team competition on Saturday taking an unthreatened victory ahead of Teams Finland and Czech Republic, demonstrated its strength again on Sunday as along with Morgenstern and Schlierenzauer, Andreas Kofler (5th) und Wolfgang Loitzl (6th) also made it in the Top 6.
In this summer's 2nd individual competition in Courchevel (FRA) on Tuesday, difficult wind conditions challenged the jumpers. Bjoern Einar Romoeren (NOR) who shared the lead with team mate Roar Ljoekelsoey after the first round with strong jumps of 127m each, managed to keep Adam Malysz behind him by 1.1 points. Romoeren also took the day's Manner prize as according to the new rules, only the best ten jumpers from the World Cup ranking list are pre-qualified. At the mid-way point, Malysz leads the Four-Nations-Grand-Prix ahead of Morgenstern and Schlierenzauer. This specialÿtournament will continue with a competition in Pragelato (ITA) on Thursday, 16th August, and conclude in Einsiedeln (SUI) on Saturday, 18th August.
The ladies' Continental Cup Ski Jumping season kicked off on the renovated hill in Bischofsgrn (GER), which was officially inaugurated before the event. No less than 3'500 spectators were enthused by the high-quality jumping competition, a broad side program and beautiful Bavarian sunshine on Sunday. Although Salome Fuchs (SUI) posted a new hill record with her 2nd jump, the top spots went to team mates Jenna Mohr and Anna Haefele (both GER), the latter of whom beat 3rd-ranked Katie Willis (CAN) by just 0.1 points. The next ladies COC competition is scheduled in Phla, Saxony, home of the Olympic champion Jens Weissflog, on August 15th.
|Mt. Hotham |
Photo: Mount Hotham Skiing Company
|Jono Brauer (AUS)|
Photo: Ski & Snowboard Australia
The FIS Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) for Alpine Skiing will begin next Monday at Mt. Hotham (AUS). The first week of racing will feature two slalom and giant slalom races each both for the ladies and men. Elite skiers from not only Australia and New Zealand but Asia and Europe as well are expected to compete. Last year, skiers from some 13 different countries participated. The current conditions are excellent, and Hotham is set to get a fairly sizeable snow dump over the next few days.
After the Australian races, this year's ANC will continue with events at Treble Cone and Mt. Hutt in New Zealand. The finals at Mt. Hutt will also include this season's super combined races consisting of super-G and slalom.
Last year, the men's overall ANC series was won by Jono Brauer (AUS), followed by Demian Branzen (AUS) while Tim Caf (NZE) finished 3rd. On the ladies' side, the French Pauline-Flor Socquet-Clerc and Claire Dautherives finished 1-2 while Sarah Jarvis (NZE) took the 3rd place.
At present, the Australian Alpine Ski Championships are underway in Thredbo where 110 athletes from nine nations are racing. Many FIS World Cup teams are also currently training in either Australia or New Zealand. The Austrian technical team including 2007 World Champion in slalom, Mario Matt, and Benjamin Raich, for example, have been at Treble Cone since early August. The US ladies' team, featuring FIS World Championships medalist Lindsey Kildow, who missed the end of last season with a knee injury, and Olympic champion Julia Mancuso, started their training camp at the Round Hill Ski Area (NZE) last week and plan to continue at Coronet Peak (also NZE) later this month. The Swiss ladies' team, including Martina Schild, Tamara Wolf, Nadia Styger and Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, are also scheduled to stage a camp at Round Hill in late-August.
|Renovated tracks and crowd at Saku Suverull|
One of the most important dry land season tests for Cross-Country skiers, Saku Suverull 2007 was held at the Tehvandi sports center in Otep (EST) last weekend. The 10th edition of Saku Suverull again attracted competitors from 15 nations to check on their summer racing shape. A new program with sprint and distance races on consecutive days and with renovated tracks, the weekend drew a crowd of 4'000 to enjoy the event held in truly summery conditions.
The winner of the men's classical sprint race was Eldar Roenning (NOR) who prevailed ahead of another sprinting star Thobias Fredriksson (SWE) and the 22-year old Finnish hope, Matias Strandvall. In the ladies' race, Natalia Matveyeva took victory ahead of two of her country mates as the Russian ladies dominated the race.
In Saturday's two-part distance race - the first section in the free technique (ladies 10 km/men 15 km) followed by a handicap start classical race (ladies 12 km and men 20 km) - the Russian team continued its strong showing. In the ladies' race, Natalia Korosteleva was the fastest ahead of her 22-year-old team mate Julia Ivanova. In the men's race, 2006 Olympic champion Eugeni Dementiev (also RUS) started the second leg with a clear lead after the free-style race and kept his position from start to finish. The 2005 sprint world champion Vassili Rotchev (RUS) produced the most powerful sprint among the followers and finished second. For complete results, see here.
|Finish area of new Rhone-Alpes piste|
Photo: OC Val d'Isere
Three FIS Race Directors, Atle Skaardal and Jan Tischhauser from the ladies' team and Helmut Schmalzl representing the FIS leadership for the men's tour, visited Val d'Isere to examine the status of preparations for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2009 last week.
"Construction work on the new Rhone-Alpes piste for the ladies is on schedule. Huge improvements have been implemented for the safety installations to remedy the problems revealed by the first test events last season. The snow-making system has also been improved. There is some more work to do but the organizing team has now obtained all the necessary approvals for the last adjustments, especially to the last jump before the finish. This should be done in September," commented Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Director Ladies. "Everything is progressing as planned and it seems that the main ladies' test events scheduled for December can be held as per our calendar, which is crucial for the championships."
In addition to a review of course construction work and safety installations, a team from Infront Italy that will be responsible for TV production at the FIS World Cup events in 2007/08 was on-site to review the planned camera positions. Whilst the host broadcast of the championships will be carried out by the EBU through their French member, France Television, the December 2007 World Cups will also serve as test events and France Television will be on-site to refine the TV production plan for the 2009 championships.
"On the men's side, work on the so-called Face de Bellevarde is well underway. There is still some more to do especially on the men's downhill course but the team is on plan," said Helmut Schmalzl, FIS Race Director for the men's speed events. "We will have another inspection in late September to confirm that everything necessary has been completed for the February test events for the men," he added.
Following the receipt of a record number of twelve applications by the May 1st 2007 deadline, the candidature process for the organization of FIS World Championships in 2012 and 2013 is now moving onto the next phase.
The deadline for the official candidature files has been set for 15th August for the five Nordic candidates: Falun (SWE), Lahti (FIN), Oberstdorf (GER), Val di Fiemme (ITA), and Zakopane (POL). For the four alpine candidates - Cortina (ITA), Schladming (AUT), St. Moritz (SUI) and Vail/Beaver Creek (USA) - the deadline is August 31st. The candidature files include each project's answers to a detailed, discipline-specific questionnaire focused on sports organization, accommodation, transportation, other services, marketing and promotion as well as the environment.
As of August 20th, the FIS Inspection Group, led by FIS Secretary-General Sarah Lewis will visit each Candidate venue for the Alpine and Nordic events. The task of this group, consisting of FIS officials and sports professionals as well as representatives of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its marketing partner and other experts, is to review the proposed event concepts while acting as an advisory body to ensure the feasibility of their implementation. The Inspection Group will prepare a final report for review by the FIS Council, FIS Technical Committees and National Ski Associations by April 2008.
|Boerge Soevik won three WSC medals in 2007|
|Significant improvements to the race course|
Photo: Heli Herdt
Kreischberg (AUT), the host of the successful FIS Snowboard World Championships in 2003 and venue for four FIS Freestyle World Cup and 33 FIS Snowboard events so far, has taken over the role of host to the FIS Telemark World Ski Championships 2009, following the awarding of the event by the FIS Council in November 2005 to Fiss (AUT).
Already scheduled to carry out FIS World Cup competitions for the new Olympic event of Freestyle ski cross in January 2008, the venue has been working on substantial improvements to the racing slopes this summer. The resort, supported by the organizing team led by Hello Haas who also served as General Secretary for the 2007 FIS Snowboard World Championships in Arosa (SUI), has extended the main run to double the width with permanent features to a enable smooth staging of competitions. "These are very significant improvements to the slopes in Kreischberg. It will now be easier to organize excellent Freestyle, Snowboard and Telemark events even in light snow seasons or in the early season," commented FIS Freestyle Coordinator Joe Fitzgerald following his recent site inspection.
|Hilton Zrich Airport will again host FIS Autumn Meetings|
The FIS Autumn Meetings will again take place at the Hotel Hilton Zrich Airport in Zurich (SUI) from 26th - 30th September 2007. The timetable for the meetings of the various FIS Committees, Sub-Committees and Working Groups is now available and can be viewed by clicking here.
Additionally this year, the 5th annual FIS Youth and Children's Seminar, as well as the Coordination Group meetings for the FIS Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Val d'Isere (FRA) and Liberec (CZE), respectively, and the Alpine and Cross-Country FIS World Cup organizers' meetings will also be held in conjunction with the FIS autumn session in order to benefit from the presence of many members at the committee meetings and make efficient use of their valuable time as well as reduce travel costs.
Please note: The hotel reservation form should be returned directly to the Hotel Hilton by 31st August 2007.
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