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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
successful Junior Worlds in Roccaraso
The FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Roccaraso, Italy, saw a great number of talented young athletes competing in the 9 day long Championships. With an established Organizing Committee who has hosted several European Cup events, the Organizers worked very hard to establish the best possible conditions for the athletes and teams. Three main venues carried out the speed and technical events, followed by the medal ceremonies downtown in the afternoon. The FIS Race Directors, Janez Flere (ladies) and Marcus Waldner (men) were both pleased with the organization and the Junior Championships in general.
With more than 45 participating nations, it was still most focus on Switzerland and Norway, who put out strong performances on both the men’s and ladies side. It was a tight battle to become the best nation and thereby be awarded the traditional Marc Hodler trophy, where each athlete ranked 1-10 was awarded with points. Last years’ winner, Switzerland, who celebrated being the best nation on home ground at the 2011 Juniors in Crans Montana, faced a strong Norwegian team in Roccaraso, and had to accept second place this time around.
The Junior Championships also gave us a few names that are worth remembering. Norwegians Ragnhild Mowinkcel and Annie Winquist are two of them, after they put on a spectacular performance in the ladies super g. After 11 racers, Abby Ghent (USA) had taken a clear lead, but next up was Corinne Suter (SUI) who improved the time by 0.44 seconds and went to top of the podium. Right afterwards her teammate, Joana Haehlen followed up, and beat the time with the tiniest margin of 0.2 seconds. With still more than 40 racers to come, but none of the top 30 close to best time, it appeared as through the Swiss girls would stay on top of the podium. That was before the ladies' gold medallist in giant slalom, Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR), and the first of five Norwegian girls started. Speeding down the course, keeping a clean line, she came in second +0.1 seconds behind Haehlen. But the race was still not over and racing with number 45, Annie Winquist lead at the intermediate time and crossed the finish line 0.1 seconds ahead of Haehlen. The podium was changed from Swiss dominance to Norwegian celebration. Mowinckel also added another gold medal before leaving Italy, winning the ladies combined title that included which is the addition of results from giant slalom, slalom and super G (since the ladies downhill was cancelled due to bad weather) Winquist claimed silver and Suter bronze.
On the men’s side, Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA), son of Barbara Cochran, won gold in the men’s downhill, but the story didn’t end there. Exactly 40 years after his mum won gold in the ladies slalom at the Olympics in Sapporo 1972, he did the same, wearing the exact same bib number: #1. The Swiss youngsters Ralph Weber and Nils Mani completed the podium, but they were eager for more. On the next day, in the men’s super g Weber and Mani claimed gold and silver for Switzerland. Switching to the technical events, there was a Norwegian with the name Henrik Kristoffersen who would be the big winner. Finishing sixth in the men’s downhill, he then claimed gold in the men’s giant slalom, on a highly challenging course. Being known for never losing if he leads the first run, Kristoffersen did everything right, and could celebrate his very first gold medal. In the men’s slalom, it was Finn Santeri Paloniemi who claimed the gold, with Kristoffersen following in second. With two medals, Kristoffersen took silver in the men’s combined behind Ryan Cochran-Siegle with Zan Kranjec (SLO) claiming bronze.
The athletes competing were all born between 1992 and 1996. Despite their young age, the athletes put on a great performance and showed that they are not far from taking the next step up to the World Cup circuit with most of them competing in European Cup already. The winners of each event in Roccaraso also earned a starting place at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup finals in Schladming this weekend and a great chance for the youngsters to ski against their big idols.
Next year, the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships will be held in Quebec, Canada.
Contributed by Sofie Torlei Olsen