Arttu Mäkiaho takes Junior World Champion title 2017
Finland’s Arttu Mäkiaho has taken the first gold medal at the 2017 FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Park City (USA). At about 00:00 CET, Mäkiaho took the most important victory of his career so far: he beat his closest pursuer, Mika Vermeulen from Austria clearly by 21.6 seconds. Vermeulen, who had skied through the field from a 29th position, had the fastest race time of 24:48.1 to show for on the tough 10 km course.
Germany’s Martin Hahn captured the bronze medal by finishing 25.6 seconds behind the winner. Czech Republic’s Lukas Danek was just 5 second off the podium and only 16-year-old German Luis Lehnert finished the race on a very respectable fifth place. Frenchman Laurent Muhlethaler, won had the jumping part with a jump on 95.5m, couldn’t keep up with the other athletes on the hard course and ended up on a 17th place.
Already from the beginning of the cross country race, a large group formed containing Mäkiaho, Florian Dagn (AUT), Luis Lehnert, Ondrej Pazout (CZE) and title favourite Vinzenz Geiger (GER), who borught a lot of World Cup experience and even ended up on a third place in Ramsau am Dachstein in December, .
Mäkiaho and Geiger were able shake off the rest of the group after one lap already and they stayed together throughout the race, Mäkiaho always being in front. At the end of the third lap Mäkiaho set an attack and Geiger was not able to follow him. In what developed in to an exceedingly tough race for Geiger also the other athletes, who were behind him had more energy, so the German favourite finally ended up on a 7th place.
Martin Hahn used his strong cross-country skiing skills and closed the gap to the group in front after two laps and could persevered until he advanced to the third place. Mika Vermeulen worked his way to second place throughout the whole field and impressively displayed his very advanced cross country level of performance.
It was also a very good day for the Czech team which ended up on ranks four and six for their athletes Lukas Danek and Ondrej Pazout. 16-year-old Stephen Schumann was the best local hero from the United Stated and finished on the 10th place with the 5th cross-country skiing time.
Ski Jumping Results