|News from the World of Skiing|
"Be there or be gone" - Must-go summer camp in New Zealand ... more
|News from the World of Skiing|
|Georg Spth (GER)|
Photo: Ski Club Hinterzarten
The FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping kicked off in Hinterzarten (GER) on 5th-6th August. In Saturday's team competition, the Team Olympic Champion Austria won ahead of Finland and Germany. In the injury-related absence of Thomas Morgenstern, the Austrian team featured the 2006 Junior World Champion, Gregor Schlierenzauer, along with Wolfgang Loitzl, Manuel Fettner and Andreas Kofler.
In the first individual competition on Sunday - the 25th summer competition in Hinterzarten - 16-year-old Schlierenzauer continued his strong performances by placing third behind Kofler and the surprise winner, Georg Spth of Germany. Spth was also named the "Manner Man of the Day", receiving the new award for the best result by a jumper who did not pre-qualify as one of the Top 15 in the World Cup standings.
In Val di Fiemme, at the second stage of the 4-Nations Grand Prix, Adam Malysz (POL) triumphed on the Predazzo hill where he also holds the hill record. The "Manner Man of the Day" was Jakub Janda (CZE), the 2005/06 World Cup winner, who recovered after a poor start in Hinterzarten by placing third.
The ladies' Continental Cup Ski Jumping also resumed in Klingenthal (GER) last weekend. In a downpour, the defending overall champion Anette Sagen of Norway snapped the four-meet winning streak of Germany's Juliane Seyfahrt, who had won all the North American competitions in July.
|Fulop Szilueszter (ROM)|
No less than 42 boys and a girl representing nine nations participated in the 1st FIS Youth Ski Jumping competition on the "Europapark" hill (HS 77) in Hinterzarten (GER) on August 5th. With approximately 1000 spectators, this event premiere - held shortly before the team event of the FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping - was a big success.
By Kurt Henauer
The new competition series, which will continue in Einsiedeln (SUI) on 12th August and in Zakopane (POL) on 26th August, is based on the initiative of Rudi Tusch, Technical Leader Ski Jumping at the German Ski Association (DSV). Tusch launched a project known as "Start up 14", which aims to support youth development in Ski Jumping to ensure the sport's long-term success.
The competition in Hinterzarten was superb. Even if there were great differences in the flight style and landing technique, some of the young participants were already competing at a high level. They fought hard for the podium places. In the end, Tobias Simon of Germany, a resident of Hinterzarten's neighboring village Breitnau, won with the total score of 260,8 points ahead of the tiny Polish jumper, Klemens Muranka (253,1), and Peter Prevc (252,2) of Slovenia. Simon also set a new hill record with his jump of 80m in the first round.
Nations where youth development in Ski Jumping is not yet at the level of the leading nations were also represented. For example, Romania had three jumpers in the final ranking: Fulop Szilueszter (40th place), Sabin Corbos (42nd) and Gul Szilard (43rd). Despite losing several meters to the winners, these three boys were happy after the competition: For the first time, they competed in front a large audience applauding their jumps with the same enthusiasm as those of the winning athletes. "Ski Jumping is shown regularly on Eurosport in Romania, a country with 20 million inhabitants. Many people there are interested in developing the sport", commented Walter Hofer, FIS Ski Jumping Race Director. Lara Thomae (NED) was the only girl in the competition, ranking 41st with jumps of 46 and 44m.
A highlight for the young athletes was the winners' ceremony, presented by double Olympic champion Simon Ammann and Andreas Kuettel (both SUI), who finished third in the e-on Ruhrgas FIS World Cup Ski Jumping last winter. "I really enjoyed this ceremony", Kuettel said and added: "This series is a good thing and has my full support."
|FIS Roller Skiing World Cup, Yaroslavl (RUS)|
The third stage of the FIS Roller Skiing World Cup took place in Yaroslavl (RUS) on 4th-6th August. The weekend's competitions also awarded the European Championship titles. The teams from Italy and Russia continued their strong performances. Overall, the Russian team was able to celebrate ten individual medals while Italy took home seven and Germany three.
The fourth and last stage of the FIS Roller Skiing World Cup will take place at the Transjurassienne d't Trans'Roller in France on 16th-17th September.
For Cross-Country skiers, one of the summer's most important fitness tests will be the 16th annual Saku Suverull that will be held in Otep (EST) on 11th-12th August. The main international competition there will include a 2.7km roller skiing prologue, a running competition (ladies 3km/men 6km) and a roller skiing competition (ladies 12km/men 20km). Both 2005 winners, Vassili Rotchev (RUS) and Kristina Smigun (EST), an eight-time Suverull champion so far, have confirmed their participation. Overall, the organizers expect competitors from 14 nations including four Olympic Champions from Turin. Among the participants are expected to be Claudia Kuenzel (GER), Virpi Kuitunen (FIN), Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN), Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS), Alena Sidko (RUS) and Viola Bauer (GER) for the ladies and for the men, Andrus Veerpalu (EST), Evgeni Dementiev (RUS), Lukas Bauer (CZE), Tobias Angerer (GER), Anders Sdergren (SWE), Ren Sommerfeldt (GER) and Andreas Schltter (GER), who announced retirement after last season but has won in Otep in 2002 and 2003.
|Bree Munro (AUS)|
The opening event of the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup - ladies' and men's aerials competitions that were scheduled for September 2nd-3rd at Mount Buller (AUS) - has been cancelled because of poor snow coverage.
"Cancellation is due to snow pack being less than what is required to build a world-class World Cup jump site," Buller Ski Lifts, the event organizer, announced on Monday. Mt Buller has a long history hosting the opening two World Cup Aerial events of the season for the past nine years and the Freestyle World Cup at Mt Buller is the longest running FIS World Cup in the Southern hemisphere. "We are obviously disappointed but sometimes it just happens that the environmental conditions do not cooperate with all our best plans. Warm temperatures and dry conditions are not good circumstances to make snow or hold ski competitions. We will try our best to replace these aerials competitions within the 2006-07 Freestyle World Cup schedule," noted Joe Fitzgerald, FIS Freestyle Skiing Coordinator.
The FIS Freestyle World Cup will now open on December 9th-10th, 2006, with two aerials events in the Changchun area in China. The first moguls contest is scheduled for the 26th time on December 14th at the traditional moguls site in Tignes (FRA).
For the entire World Cup schedule, please see here.
Alpine Ski World Cup 2006, a unique collection of some of the most outstanding images taken during the 2005/2006 FIS Alpine World Cup season, is now available. This year's volume - the third edition in the Alpine Ski World Cup collection launched in 2004 by Agence Zoom offers an enthralling insight into the past season through images, stories, facts and figures, with the essential addition of the greatest moments of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin.
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To order your copy, available in English, German and French, click here.
The 2006 European Athletics Championships are currently underway in Gothenburg (SWE). As Carolina Klft (SWE), Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) and others fight for the medals, the organizers of the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are on site to collect ideas and learn from the practice of event organization. On 10th August, the Gothenburg organizers will host a seminar to discuss their experiences with the event and its planning. The responsible people from re 2007 will be taking advantage of this unique opportunity to meet their counterparts within the organization of the Athletics Championships.
The Gothenburg championships will also see visits from the leading Swedish skiers: while Maria Pietil Holmner and Jessica Lindell Vikarby were on site earlier this week, the Swedish Cross-Country team will be there on 9th-10th August and Anja Prson and Fredrik Nyberg on 11-12th August to meet fans and cheer on their peers.
|Xaver Hoffmann (GER)|
|Snow Park Wanaka (NZE)|
"Be there or be gone" - Must-go summer camp in New Zealand
The fifth one in the series, this week's "Athletes in Summer Training" piece provides some insight into how the various Snowboard national teams are preparing for the new competition season.
By Oliver Kraus
Two months ahead of the 2006/07 season's kick-off with the big air in Prague (CZE), snowboarders are preparing for the decisive stage in their summer training. In contrast to other sports where athletes tend to hide from each other, on-snow training in the Southern hemisphere provides a `must-go' get-together for almost all Snowboard national freestyle teams. The Snow Park in Wanaka,˙New Zealand, the first all-mountain freestyle resort, traditionally plays host to most of the world's best riders.
While a few teams, such as the US or Canada, already had some snow training in Mt. Hood, Oregon respectively Whistler Mountain, BC and will fly to New Zealand in early August, a small group of three German Freestyle team riders already set up their camp. Xaver Hoffmann and the Strauss twins Tobias and Philipp headed off to start this season's on-snow training on July 27th.
For the German team, which currently lacks half-pipe facilities in its home country, on-snow summer training `down-under' is very important. "98 percent of all riders, including World and Olympic Champions, will show up", says Xaver Hoffmann. "Nobody can afford to miss the training in New Zealand because you would have a handicap for the whole season as well as poor fitness and would lack new tricks. You have to be there to see how the level of half-pipe riding will be like in the upcoming winter. The changes in the world of Snowboarding are so quick that you could easily miss the state of the art if you don't go to New Zealand."
The impact of the missed on-snow training opportunities might double due to the upcoming winter's schedule. Since the World Cup opener in Valle Nevado (CHI) had to be cancelled, the half-pipe contest in Saas-Fee (SUI) will be the only one before the FIS Snowboard World Championships in Arosa, Switzerland, in January 2007. As a result, the Austrians will join the "training camp" with a group of six riders on August 4th for four weeks. The Swiss freestyle riders will be there, too, staying in the Wanaka Snow Park for the entire month of August.
Hoffmann, who had to undergo a special summer program for his tattered back and went surfing for a few weeks as compensation training, plans to focus on the 1080's. "I want to stick my tricks at this level more often which means I have to land eight out of ten. I have to catch up a bit." In addition, he has to keep an eye on the Strauss twins, who shall slowly build up for the World Cup. Both have had to recover from torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs).
The rest of the team will join the first `travel group' a few days later. The athletes will then work together on their goals for the new season. Xaver Hoffmann, second place-finisher in the half-pipe World Cup 2006, is focused: "For sure I want to attack in the World Cup and will fight for a spot in the finals in the World Championships. I'm 31 years old but still missing the title of a World or Olympic Champion. I will hunt the young guns!"