A little patience was required, as a dusting of overnight snow and unexpected fog delayed the start of today’s ladies downhill, the final event of the 2018 FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships.
“The light snowfall and fog actually helped the track”, said FIS Technical Delegate Bernd Lauth. “It has made a better surface and we should have a very good race”.
As the athletes completed their inspection, the fog which blanketed the lower half of the track began to dissipate, prompting the jury to delay a 1/2 hour. By noon, the track was bathed in bright sunshine and ready for the best junior athletes in the world.
Norway had dominated training and Kasja Vickhoff Lie confirmed her dominance of the speed events of these World Juniors adding the downhill gold to her earlier Super G gold. Swiss pride was salvaged as Juliana Suter took silver and Iulija Pleshkova of Russia captured the bronze.
It was a tightly packed field and Canada’s lone athlete, Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler Mt.) skied a clean, fast top on the steep upper slope of the Jakobshorn, placing 4th only .07 off at the first split. The final result, Fleckenstein finished in 13th place, 1.07 off the pace set by Lie.
Georgia Willinger, racing for New Zealand but a long time member of Kananaskis Ski Club based at Nakiska, was also racing today, finishing 31st.
As the Championship wrapped up, the prestigious Marc Hodler Trophy was on the line with only 7 points separating the top two nations: Switzerland and defending champion Austria.
Once again, home field advantage provided the edge, as the Swiss athletes Juliana Suter (Silver) and Noemi Kolly (6th) outpaced fourth place Julia Scheib who was the lone Austrian speed skier to crack the top ten to score points for the Team overall competition.
Switzerland regained the Marc Hodler Trophy for the first time since 2011 at the last World Juniors to be hosted in Switzerland, with 127 points ahead of Austria with 113 and Norway with 90. Canada finished in 8th.
“Having this kind of outcome at home Championships is something truly amazing and something that is hard to achieve”, silver medalist Juliana Suter was quoted by FIS Newsflash, as she commented on Switzerland’s great success.
For full results from all competitions, click here.
For an archive of all videos from the livestream production, click here.