Sverige Nationalarenan, Åre – Day 5 – The Alpine Combined took centre stage today. In the Junior Worlds the two-run event is based on super G and slalom.
The weather shifted dramatically as blue skies disappeared to be replaced with a high fog and much warmer temperatures. With flat light on the track, the finish rate dropped with several athletes failing to negotiate a fairly up-tempo super G. Included in those who couldn’t find the finish was Amelia Smart (Team Panorama), a favourite for the slalom leg of the race. Smart unfortunately mistimed a jump and crashed mid-course.
Austrian Nadine Fest continued her domination of the speed events, easily moving into the lead after the super G and she hung on for the win with a solid slalom run. Meta Hrovat of Slovenia, daughter of the mayor of Kranskja Gora, put together solid runs in both legs to take silver. The Austrians continued to pad the medal haul with Franziska Gritsch taking bronze.
Canadian colours were carried by Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler Mt. Ski Club). Skiing from outside the top seed (which is ranked by alpine combined points), Stefanie moved into the flip 30 with a 26th place finish in super G. Then she took advantage of her early start to lay down a solid 5th place finish in the slalom, to move up to 14th place in the alpine combined final standings.
A field of 103 men take over the Nationalarenan tomorrow for their Alpine Combined race.
Wonder where we are in Sweden?
Åre is a 1,000-year old community that has become Sweden’s hub for alpine wintersports. Located 600 km. north of Stockholm, the ski resort was founded in 1909 and is now Sweden’s largest ski resort and the highest vertical.
The variety of slopes and rich history of ski racing made Åre an ideal venue to host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1954 and the resort became a regular stop on the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup after the Tour was founded in 1967. The World Championships returned to Åre in 2007, with Canadian Jan Hudec taking a surprise silver in the men’s downhill.
Sweden has a serious bid in development for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. Åre would be the venue for alpine skiing. Before that, though, the community will host the 2018 FIS Alpine World Cup Finals in March/2018 and their 3rd FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February/2019.