FIS Children's Grand Prix ends on a high note
Male Categories – Finland’s Future Looks Bright
It was another successful day for the Finnish boys at the FIS Children’s Grand Prix event in Oberstdorf (GER). The Finns took four of the six podium places in the two boys’ divisions. It total, Finland had eight athletes make the podium in the two days of competition.
In the boys’ S13 age group, two Finns topped the standings after the ski jumping part of the competition. Perttu Reponen led the pack with a jump of 50.5 meters, while his teammate Waltteri Karhumaa was one meter behind him in second place. The dynamic duo, who also took first and second place yesterday, out-paced the pack in the race and once again found themselves atop the podium on the second day of competition. This time Karhumaa took first place with Reponen finishing 11 seconds behind, reversing yesterday’s top-two. Germany’s Lenard Kersting rounded out the podium 39 seconds behind.
The boy’s S14 age group saw two Austrians leading after the ski jumping, but in the race, the Finns once again showed their dominance and took first and second place.
The tight jumping results set up a thrilling finale race as the top-five athletes were separated by a mere seven seconds. In the end, Otto Niittykoski (FIN) won the second day’s competition with an impressive skating effort finish, topping teammate Rasmus Ähtävä by 31.7 seconds despite entering the race with a 32-second time disadvantage. David Sachsenhofer took third place, finishing nearly a minute behind Niitykoski.
Female Categories – Diversity among the females: Three nations win three categories.
In the girls born 2000-2003, Maja Drinovec (SLO) had an incredible race to steal the first-place finish from teammate Kaja Coz Urbanija who took second-place a mere four seconds off the winning pace. Urbanija won yesterday’s competition, but today Drinovec overcame a 21-second deficit for the surprise win. Lucille Morat (FRA) took third place thanks largely to a strong jumping performance.
Morat (FRA) and Urbanija both jumped 54.0 meters and were also equal on points going into the race with 97.4 and started only three seconds ahead of Josephine Pagnier (FRA), setting up a thrilling race. But in the end Drinovec’s skating was the difference as she earned the second-day title.
For the girls born 1996-1999, once again Timna Moser (AUT) dominated the field with a jump of 56.0 meters and 109 points, giving her a 22-second head start in the race. She closed the jumping round three meters ahead of Germany’s Lena Selbach, who ended well behind on points with 98.6. Just like yesterday, the 22-second lead was too large for any of the field to overcome as Moser skated to her second victory in as many days, topping Norway’s Tonje Bakke by 17.5 seconds. Anna Berktold (GER) finished in third place, crossing the finish line 28.5 seconds behind Moser.
Lea Züfle took her second victory in as many days, beating her four competitors in the competition from Oberstdorf’s K30 hill where she ranked an intermediate second place but once again overtook Finland’s Emilia Sorvisto on the track. It was déjà vu as Sorvisto and Züfle sprinted for the finish line with the German once again taking the win by a slim margin of 2.3 seconds.