It was a jam-packed day on the Jakobshorn slopes with the ladies slalom and a unique 2-run downhill format for the men.
An approaching weather front, which threatens to bring high winds and 15+cm of snow, prompted the organizers to move the men’s downhill forward one day. As the downhill vertical is only 455 metres, the FIS had mandated the men’s Championship must be a 2-run format (note: there will also be a 2-run format in the ladies World Cup race in Garmisch this weekend). Run one in this format is staged as any downhill – first 15 select their start number, next 15 are drawn randomly, the balance of the field is by world-ranking. The second run is reverse 30 of the 1st run times.
The ladies started the day first, with less than half the field able to negotiate the water-injected track. It was shaping up to be a repeat of the ladies GS, with Austria holding down the top two positions, but first run leader Katharina Liensberger hip-slid to hand the gold medal to Mita Hrovat (SLO). Franziska Gritsch (AUT) took silver and Aline Danioth (SUI) gave the host nation their first medal of the Championship.
Stephanie Currie (Osler Bluff/Dartmouth) spent some time in the leader box with the 12th best time in the second run which moved her up from 29th to 19th place. Marina Vilanova (Tremblant) held down 22nd place after the first run but DNF’ed run 2. Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler) came agonizingly close in run one, crashing just before the finish.
With clear blue skies and virtually no wind, the conditions could not have been better to hold the men’s downhill. After the one training run yesterday, Canadian hopes were buoyed, but the Swiss were not to be denied. Similar to the 2010 World Juniors in Crans-Montana, the Swiss Team have a multi-year plan to build performance at a home Championship, having hosted three separate competitions on the slopes here in Davos last season, including the Swiss National Championships. Their Team came out charging with Marco Odermatt posting the leading time, Lars Roesti sitting 5th and Semyel Bissig in 9th.
Canadian hopes remained high with Sam Mulligan (Grouse Mt. Tyee) sitting 3rd, Jeff Read (Banff Alpine) is 6th, Riley Seger (Whistler) 7th, Simon Founier (Tremblant) 10th and Cam Alexander (Whistler) 12th.
The Swiss took full advantage of home-field edge and charged in run 2. In an unbelievably tight finish, it was a Swiss 1-3, with Odermatt taking gold and Roesti bronze. The Swiss placed 5 athletes in the top 11.
Sam Mulligan split the Swiss taking silver, a mere .02 off the top spot of the podium. Jeff Read finished 6th, only .29 behind. Cam Alexander finished 17th, Simon Fournier 18th and Riley Seger 20th.
With the pending snowstorm, Wednesday will be a training day for the ladies to inspect the super G track.
Men’s DH results: https://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=AL&raceid=91288
Ladies SL results: https://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=AL&raceid=91287
In the Marc Hodler Trophy, which recognizes the leading junior nation at the World Juniors, after day 2 host nation Switzerland leads. Canada sits in 4th position.
Marc Hodler Trophy standings as of 31.01.18: https://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/marc-hodler-trophy.html?seasoncode=2018§orcode=AL