The team selected to represent Australia at the 2015 Alpine World Junior Ski Championships at Hafjell (NOR) Mar 5-13 was comprised of 4 National Team Athletes selected in line with the published SSA Selection Criteria. The athletes were supported by 4 coaches and staff throughout the Championships.
OWIA athlete Greta Small was the only female and the most experienced athlete on the team competing in her fourth World Junior Championship. Greta had some very solid results and some moments of fantastic skiing. One of the highlights was Greta’s winning run in the SL leg of the Alpine Combined that elevated her from 33rd after the SG run to 11th overall. Greta had the following results: GS 18th, SL 23rd, AC 11th, SG 33rd, DH 18th.
Three male athletes competed in the technical events for Australia. Alec Scott competed his second World Junior Championships. While Alec did not perform to his full potential he had some very positive signs. In the first run of the GS Alec had a strong split time and skied the difficult sections very well, unfortunately he fell before the final finish pitch. In the SL Alec struggled in the softer snow that developed deep grooves however he mustered a promising 6th place finish for the U18 athletes.
Harry Laidlaw competed in his first World Junior Championships but unfortunately was a DNF in both the GS and SL events. Just like Alec, Harry had very strong splits in the GS but could not hold on to cross the finish line for two consistent runs.
Daniel Demschar competed in his second World Junior Championships. Daniel unfortunately also fell short of his potential. He finished 56th in the challenging GS and failed to finish the second run of his preferred discipline SL.
The 2015 World Junior Championships were a test event for next year’s Youth Olympic Games. All alpine events to be contended next year will be on the same slopes as this year’s World Junior Championships. The race hills are long and very challenging and are a great venue for these caliber events. The organizing committee did an excellent job and we look forward to returning to Hafjell for next year’s Youth Olympic Games.
IMAGE: Greta Small in action