Teenagers Kampschreur, Knight, Bertagnolli steal the show at World Cup in St. Moritz

The Netherlands’ Jeroen Kampschreur recorded his first ever Para alpine skiing World Cup win in the men’s slalom sitting on Thursday (22 December), as racing wrapped up in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The 17-year-old put on an impressive first run and had more than a one second lead at the start of the second run, which he then comfortably defended. Japan’s Taiki Morii finished second, adding another podium finish to his third place from Monday’s giant slalom. Germany’s Georg Kreiter was third, making it to the podium for the fourth consecutive time this week.

Great Britain’s Millie Knight and guide Brett Wild continued their successful showing in St. Moritz by winning the women’s slalom visually impaired. It was the fourth podium finish in as many races for the 17-year-old this week. Slovakia’s Henrietta Farkasova and her guide Natalia Subrtova finished in second, while Australia’s Melissa Perrine and guide Andrew Bor completed the podium. Knight now has a 20 point lead over Farkasova in the overall World Cup standings.

Knight wrote on her Facebook page after the race: “In the words of the man sat next to us on the chair lift: “if you go into a shop and let people persuade you into buying things you don’t want you’ll end up spending too much and getting distracted, however if you go in with a plan and a clear head, you’ll get what you want.

“We took that into our runs today, a clear head and a straightforward plan. Think the man on the chairlift was right, we got what we went into the shop for. #Gold”

Italy’s rising star Giacomo Bertagnolli and his guide Fabrizio Casal won the closest of Thursday’s races, edging Slovakia’s Miroslav Haraus and guide Maros Hudik by just 0.01. It was the second World Cup win of the season for the 17-year-old Italian and his third podium in St. Moritz. Poland’s Maciej Krezel and guide Anna Ogarzynska finished third. Haraus still leads Bertagnolli in the overall World Cup standings by 75 points.

Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss topped the podium for a third time in St. Moritz. In the absence of world and Paralympic champion Marie Bochet, Rothfuss beat Slovakia’s Petra Smarzova in the women’s slalom standing. Dutch skier Anna Jochemsen came in third. Rothfuss now has a 300 point lead in the overall World Cup standings ahead of Canada’s Alana Ramsay.

Germany’s success was completed by Anna Schaffelhuber and Anna-Lena Forster in the women’s slalom sitting. Paralympic champion Schaffelhuber took revenge for Wednesday’s (21 December) second place finish behind Forster and beat her teammate by just 0.05 on Thursday. It was her second win this week after Monday’s triumph in giant slalom. She now ties Forster in the overall World Cup standings with 480 points each. Japan’s Momoka Muraoka completed the podium.

Austria’s Thomas Grochar improved on his second place from Wednesday by topping the podium in the men’s slalom standing on the final day of racing. The 23-year-old beat his compatriot Martin Wuerz by 0.15, followed by Finland’s Santeri Kiiveri. Grochar’s victory gives him the overall lead in the World Cup standings with 420 points.

Full results are available at World Para Alpine Skiing’s website: www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/live-results/info-live-results.

The first Para alpine skiing World Cup in downhill, super combined and super-G races take place in Innerkrems, Austria, from 11-15 January. Live results will be available at www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/live-results.

The World Para Alpine Skiing World Championships get underway in Tarvisio, Italy, on 22 January.

Picture – Millie Knight & Brett Wild – courtesy of Millie Knight’s Facebook page