Five years after the successful 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, Lachtal is gearing up to host another major FIS competition with the parallel events of the 2020 FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships coming to Austria’n region of Styria from March 30 to April 1.
Back in 2015 it was Claudia Riegler, who went for PGS gold medal on Lachtal’s technical slope, while Julia Dujmovits, Marion Kreiner and Benjamin Karl added three more medals to Austria’s record at the championships. This time, the Austrian Snowboard Team will be hoping for their young team (born between 2000 and 2004) to shine again in front of the home crowd in three events - Parallel Giant Slalom, Parallel Slalom, as well as Parallel Team Event.
The support from the state of Styria was an important prerequisite for bringing this year's JWC to the Mur Valley, which hosted high-caliber events with afore-mentioned FIS Snowboard World Championships in 2003 and 2015, to go along with many other freestyle and snowboard competitions.
“Kreischberg and Lachtal have acquired great expertise in both snowboarding and freestyle, and their positioning perfectly addresses the young winter sports audience. From this point of view, Lachtal is the ideal venue for the Junior World Championship for snowboard alpine, which Styria also gives its full support,” said Deputy Governor Anton Lang.
“With the night slalom in Schladming and ski flying on the Kulm, as well as the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the MotoGP in Spielberg, Styria is the scene of sporting events with worldwide appeal,“ explained State Councillor Christopher Drexler, “But of course we are also very concerned about events such as the FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships, in order not only to set an important focus for the up-and-coming sport, but also to support the entire range of large-scale events in Styria that meet the highest quality standards.”
“Styria has not only made a name for itself as the venue for the FIS Snowboard World Championships in 2003 and 2015, it has also produced great athletes in this sport. I am thinking primarily of Werner Ebenbauer and Marion Kreiner. This year's Junior World Championships competition in Lachtal should also be an incentive for local talents to follow in the footsteps of their great role models, ”said Karl Schmidhofer, President of the Styrian Ski Association.
Marion Kreiner, who won the 2015 world championships bronze medal in PSL in 2015, as well as the PGS Olympic bronze medal in 2010 in Vancouver (CAN), emphasizes the importance of the JWC for snowboard up-and-coming athletes: “Participation in a junior world championship is an important milestone on the way to the European Cup and then on to the World Cup. You gain experience that is of great importance for the further course of your career. In addition, there is of course also media interest in a youth championship. In this environment, it is important for the drivers to concentrate on the essentials and to achieve top performance. “
Chief of the Organising Committee Roland Horn, who also works as an "advisor" for the FIS Europa Cup tour, is looking forward to the upcoming JWC with great anticipation: “Lachtal has an optimal terrain for parallel races, with steep slopes, flat passages and interesting transitions. From this point of view, only the best young athletes will prevail,” Horn is convinced.
Mayor Johann Schmidhofer proudly shows that the municipality of Oberwölz-Lachtal is once again the venue for the World Cup: "This not only demonstrates our winter sports expertise, but it allows us to once again welcome athletes from all over the world.”
“We will take part in this Junior World Championship with a very young team, but all of our athletes will be highly motivated to compete on home soil,” explained Christian Galler, the sporting director for snowboarding at the ÖSV, “I would like to thank the state of Styria for the support. Without it, running an event of this size would not be possible. I am also happy to announce that another slopestyle World Cup will take place in Kreischberg in the upcoming season. We are very happy to have great partners in Kreischberg and Lachtal, who have the highest level of expertise in hosting snowboard and freestyle events.”
For the 18-year-old Styrian Matthäus Pink, the FIS Snowboard Junior World Championship on home snow is the highlight of the season: “Competing in world championships in your own country is of course a cool thing. Our entire team in Lachtal wants to show that we have made great progress recently. The anticipation for the home world championship is very great for all of us.”
The weekend before the Junior World Championships, also the Austrian Snowboard Championships in parallel disciplines will take place on March 28-29.
FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships programme:
Sunday, March 29, 2020: 19:00 CET - World Cup opening ceremony in Oberwölz
Monday, March 30, 2020 (parallel giant slalom): 9:00 CET - Qualifications, 12:30 CET - Finals
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 (parallel slalom): 9:00 CET - Qualifications, 12:30 CET - Finals
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 (team competition) 9:00 CET - Qualifications, 12:30 CET - Finals
For more details see HERE.