Austrian Freeski Open: Youth rules the Day

The first finals of this year’s Austrian Freeski Open finished with a bang. In the Ladies’ Contest the 14-year-old Nina Michel dominated her fellow competitors.

Austrian Freeski Open 2009.  Copyright: Christoph SchoechFavorites Lena Stoffel and Christina Huber from Germany finished second and fourth respectively, Dutch Canisia Romina took third place. The best Austrian finisher and thus Austrian Slopestyle Champion became Stephanie Menech.

Particularly impressive was the amount of points that separated the young Swiss from the rest of the field. Her 270° On at the down box and a Backside Switch-up on the flat-down box was by far the most technical jib combination amongst the girls. A Handplant Cork 360° after a 360° Safety on the kickers secured her win, although Lena Stoffel displayed the best air performance with a Switch 540° followed by a super stylish 180°. However, similar to the other ladies, Lena only did standard tricks at the rails.

While the foreigners ruled the Ladies’ Contest in the afternoon, the Austrians dominated the Rookies in the morning hours. Markus Obwaller from Fieberbrunn became Austrian Rookies’ Champion and the overall winner. On a perfectly shaped course and under blue skies the young gun performed a 270° On to 270° Out at the down box and a Switch-up on the flatdown box followed by a Switch 720° to Switch 900° combo on the kicker line. This run gave him a clear lead over second place Marco Möschl, an Austrian as well, and Kai Mahler from Switzerland took third. Marco Möschl particularly impressed the judges with his clean style on the kickers.

After today’s great performances everybody is looking forward to tomorrow, when this year’s Austrian Open will culminate in the Men’s Final. Favorites among the 30 competitors are the young Swedish star Oscar Scherlin, great German hope Beni Mayr and Guillaume Sbrava from France. Austria will pin its hope to Schladming’s Tobi Trischter, veteran Martin Misof from Innsbruck and Wednesday’s winner of the qualification, Marlon Holzmann from Vorarlberg. Under presumably bright blue skies all competitors will have two runs in the morning, before the top 10 will battle it out in the afternoon in another two rounds. Finally the winner will be determined in the super finals. The FM4 After Contest Party will then set the stage for the final chord of this year’s Austrian Freeski Open in Mayrhofen’s Arena.

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At today’s training, the competition course of this year‘s Austrian Freeski Open simply looked brilliant. The riders didn’t hesitate to take advantage of it and practiced their runs for tomorrow’s qualification one more time.

Josh Absenger.  Foto: Christoph Schoech

Austrian Freeski Open: Qualification at high level

Marlon Holzmann wins the Men’s Qualification at the Austrian Freeski Open 2009, Boen Ferguson in second and Jussi Mononen in third place.

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