St. Moritz 2018: Season debut for Paralympic champions12.12.2018
Europa Cup sees PyeongChang 2018 stars take to the slopes
After weather conditions cancelled the events in Pyha and Pitztal, the World Para Alpine Skiing Europa Cup is back with St. Moritz, Switzerland, hosting Paralympic and world champions in the season’s second competition from Thursday (13 December).
One hundred and one skiers from 25 countries will be in action, including PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic champions Momoka Muraoka of Japan and Anna-Lena Forster of Germany in the women’s giant slalom and slalom sitting.
Forster planned to make her season debut in Pitztal earlier in the week but it had to be postponed to the Swiss alps.
“I’m looking forward to the first races, that’s a first hint. Unfortunately, the preparation was a bit difficult, the weather has often bugged us, but that was not different for the other nations,” Forster said. “Now I am really looking forward to starting again.”
The women’s sitting will also feature Germany’s seven-time Paralympic champion and current slalom world champion Anna Schaffelhuber.
In the women’s standing, France’s eight-time Paralympic winner Marie Bochet has already collected gold medals in the season-opening Europa Cup in Landgraaf last month.
In St. Moritz she will compete in a 12-strong field in the women’s slalom and giant slalom which includes current world champion in both events, Andrea Rothfuss of Germany.
Another PyeongChang gold medallist making her season debut is Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick in the women’s giant slalom and slalom vision impaired.
Home snow for Gmur
On the men’s side, three out of five of the PyeongChang 2018 winners in the men’s slalom and giant slalom events will be in St. Moritz.
Local hero Theo Gmur - who has just won Switzerland’s Para athlete of the year award - is the current Paralympic champion in the men’s giant slalom standing and will contest his first official race this season.
Slalom standing’s reigning Paralympic champion Adam Hall of New Zealand is also back to snow and will race against France’s young star Arthur Bauchet who won the event in Landgraaf.
In the vision impaired events, Italy’s Giacomo Bertagnolli – who took gold in both events in South Korea – is another skier making his season debut.
In the sitting event, Dutch teenage talent Jeroen Kampschreur had a good start at home taking gold in the Landgraaf Europa Cup.
In Switzerland he will face the likes of USA’s two-time Paralympic medallist Andrew Kurka and Poland’s Igor Sikorski, bronze medallist in the giant slalom in PyeongChang.
Full results from the 2018 St. Moritz Europa Cup are on World Para Alpine Skiing’s website.