Golden finish for the home alpine athletes, France and Japan dominate cross – country relay on the final day of the Virtus World Ski ing Championships
With a total of four double victories in the women’s Down syndrome class and two further gold medals for Eva Maria Dünser (women’s mental), the Alpine competitions at these championships in Seefeld come to a crowning conclusion from a domestic perspective. In the relay event on the cross – country track, the French won both the women’s and men’s events ahead of Japan and thus secured the World Championships medal table. Held in Austria for the first time, the Virtus World Skiing Championships together with ho st Seefeld show another example of inclusive and barrier – free togetherness.
For Anna – Sophie Friedl it was a day like any other this week. The 26 – year – old from Upper Austria raced to the gold medal in the final super – G. Behind her was once again lo ng – time rival Stephanie Schlömmer. Finland’s Bea Westerstrahle completes the podium in the women’s downhill.
The picture was completely the same in the combined event, where the faster slalom run from the previous day and the super-G were taken into account.
Slalom World Champion Eva Maria Dünser also struck in the Super – G Slalom World Champion Eva Maria Dünser also struck in the Super – G. The Vorarlberg racer won by 2.76s ahead of Baba Tamami from Japan and 18 – year – old Elmi Gerhardsson Danielsson from Sweden. With this performance, Dünser could not be denied victory in the combined. Here she won ahead of the French Melanie De Bona and the super – G runner – up from Japan, Tamami.
Carinthia’s Julia Pleikner came away empty – handed today. She had a spectacular fall in the super – G, but didn’t let it stop her and finished the run. Eleventh place in the speed discipline and ninth place in the combined were the results for the Austrian.
In the men’s Down syndrome event, the Austrians did not manage a podium finish on Thursday. With places five, six and seven for the two Tyroleans Markus Grameiser, Michael Konrad and the Upper Austrian Richard Strohhäusl, all three athletes were dissatisfied. The title in this class went to the strong Polish Antoni Antoni Wiercioch only 0.13s ahead of Paul Riche from France. Another 1.16s behind, Alessandro Dressadore from Italy came in third – the closest decision of these title competitions.
With his victory in the super-G, the Pole also secured the combined ahead of local hero Markus Grameiser, unbeaten yesterday in the slalom, and Riche from France.
All three podium places for Japan were in the men’s mental category – Yoshihide Kimura, Aoshi Kanazawa and Yusuke Kizuki were in a class of their own.
While the top two also secured the gold and bronze medals in the combined event, France’s Thomas Girard blew up the Japanese package in this discipline.
On the last day of the 2023 Virtus World Skiing Championships, the Nordic relay competition was on the agenda. In the men’s event, four teams from France, Austria, Japan and Italy competed with three skiers each. In the women’s event, France and Japan competed with teams of two.
In the men’s race, the French started as clear favourites. The skiers in blue already convinced with strong performances in the individual races and also made a fresher impression on the track today than all the other teams. With a clear lead, the French deservedly took the gold medal. Japan and Italy fought an even duel for second and third place with the better end for the Japanese. Japan and Italy fought an even duel for second and third place with the better end for the Japanese.
In the women’s event, the French team once again showed that they had the strongest team in Tyrol this year. Lea Thiroux and Manon Petitnicolas won gold ahead of the Japanese.
France ahead of host Austria and Japan – these are the first three in the medal table. In total, athletes from nine nations won at least one medal at this World Skiing Championships for people with mental disabilities. Apart from the above-mentioned “winners”, these were Poland, Italy, Sweden, Estonia, Finland and the Czech Republic.
Over the last four days, 80 athletes from 13 nations and four continents showed top sporting performances in a total of eight Alpine and Nordic competitions and once again set the course for inclusion in sport.
“You have shown the world what can be achieved with enthusiasm and commitment. The VIRTUS World Championships will remain a joyful memory for all of us, a sporting and friendly experience for all those involved from the 13 participating nations,” said Julian Hadschieff, World Championships Ambassador and ÖBSV Vice President, “a big thank you to all the staff and volunteers, in particular the VIRTUS World Championships Secretary General Paula Grameiser-Scherl, the Chairman of the Mental Disability Sport, René Schönberger, and the Seefeld Ski Club”.
After a successful day of sport, the Rosshütte in Seefeld was the venue for the popular award ceremony on Wednesday evening. During a cosy evening in a mountain hut with traditional musical accompaniment, the mentors and Olympic champions Mario Stecher (with his wife Carina) and David Kreiner, Elisabeth Gürtler (Director Alpin Resort Sacher Seefeld), Markus Wackerle (Mayor Seefeld), Horst Mair (Bank Director Raiffeisenbank Seefeld), Richard Schneider (Managing Director Bergbahnen Rosshütte), René Schönberger (ÖBSV-KGM Chairman) and Aloys Seyrling (Chairman TVB Seefeld) presented the coveted gold, silver and bronze medals to the VIRTUS World Cup heroes.
The Virtus World Skiing Championships 2023 is an event of the Austrian Disabled Sports Association; the Seefeld Ski Club is the organiser.
Results Super-G, Thursday, 16 March 2023
Women DS (II2)
- Anna-Sophie Friedl, AUT (OÖ) 15
- Stephanie Schlömmer, AUT (OÖ) 66
- Bea Westerstrahle, FIN 1:03.50
Women Mental (II1)
- Eva Maria Dünser, AUT (V) 18
- Baba Tamami, JPN 94
- Elmi Gerhardsson Danielsson, SWE 36
Men DS (II2)
- Antoni Wiercioch, POL 29
- Paul Riche, FRA 42
- Alessandro Dressadore, ITA 45
Men Mental (II1)
- Yoshihide Kimura, JPN 51
- Aoshi Kanazawa, JPN 60
- Yusuke Kizuki, JPN 12
Women DS (II2)
- Anna-Sophie Friedl, AUT (OÖ) 1:43.17
- Stephanie Schlömmer, AUT (OÖ) 1:52.05
- Bea Westerstrahle, FIN 2:10.55
Women Mental (II1)
- Eva Maria Dünser, AUT (V) 1:33.51
- Melanie De Bona, FRA 1:40.88
- Tamami Baba, JPN 1:44.11
Men DS (II2)
- Antoni Wiercioch, POL 1:42.22
- Markus Grameiser, AUT (T) 1:44.42
- Paul Riche, FRA 1:44.57
Men Mental (II1)
- Yoshihide Kimura, JPN 1:21.52
- Thomas Girard, FRA 1:24.59
- Aoshi Kanazawa, JPN 1:25.58
Results Nordic, Thursday, 16 March 2023
Women Mental (II1), 2x 2.5k
- France 14:28.8
- Japan 15:58.2
Men Mental (II1), 3x 2.5k
- France 15:29.8
- Japan 16:16.9
- Italy 19:29.4
- Austria 20:50.4