Mount Hotham’s Greta Small kicked off her FIS World Ski Championships campaign with a solid 29th place in the Super G in Vail-Beaver Creek, USA, overnight (Australian time) on day one of competition.
The plucky teenager is once again pushing herself to the limit by competing in all five alpine disciplines, which is the same gruelling schedule she successfully tackled 12 months ago when she represented Australia at her first Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Finishing in the 20s of a 46-woman draw boasting the world’s best alpine racers is a definite sign that the 19-year-old is making steady progress towards achieving her goal of becoming an elite athlete.
The event was won by Austrian Anna Fenninger, who becomes the first reigning Olympic Winter Games gold medallist to win a Super G World Championships title.
Slovakia’s defending World Champion Tina Maze picked up the silver medal while hometown hero Lindsey Vonn added a bronze to her collection of two previous World Championships titles and Olympic Winter Games gold.
The Women’s Super G athletes had to contend with about 10cm of fresh overnight snow and strong winds, which forced organisers to temporarily halt proceedings several times throughout the event and alter the position of the start five gates down the 1840 metre course.
With more snow forecast overnight, organisers have already cancelled tomorrow’s women’s downhill training session, allowing officials to focus entirely on completing the men’s Super G.
Small is one of nine Australians competing at the Championships, which run through till February 15.
Sam Robertson will be the sole Australian competitor on day 2 in the men’s Super G.
Robertson goes into the event with the benefit of extended training on the Vail Super G course, where he has shown strong form with times only half a second behind Austria’s 2011 Super G World Championships silver medallist Hannes Reichelt.
Other members of the Australian team are Luc-Henri Chevalier (Giant Slalom), Lavinia Chrystal (Giant Slalom and Slalom), Daniel Demschar (Slalom), Domoinic Demschar (Giant Slalom), Luke Laidlaw (Giant Slalom and Slalom), Ross Peraudo (Giant Slalom and Slalom) and Mike Rishworth (Slalom).