WICKLOW SKIER RISES TO OCCASION IN ITALY
Team Ireland’s Eábha McKenna returned to the slopes in Tarvisio, Italy to compete in the Girl’s Giant Slalom (GS) event today at the European Youth Olympic Festival. The Wicklow teenager was competing in the Girl’s Giant Slalom where she finished 42nd with a time of 3:02.79. The sixteen-year-old rose to the occasion for the second day running and scored her highest-ever FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) points.
Pleased with McKenna’s performance, Alpine Skiing Head Coach Giorgio Marchesini was surprised with the length of the course, which challenged the field of 87 athletes. The Irish skier scored 129.33 FIS points on a day where over twenty athletes were DNF. FIS points are used to score athletes internationally, which helps with rankings and establishing start orders.
“I’m happy because Eábha held both courses pretty well, she did well in terms of the technical aspect. A pretty good number of girls in the middle went down. Some found it difficult because it is unusual to have a GS that is so long. The 1:27.00 we saw this morning is something I’ve never seen before in a competition. Usually, a GS is between 1:05.00 and 1:15.00.”
The light made it difficult for the athletes between some of the gates, which was one of the aspects that Marchesini was working on with McKenna,
“We saw two or three points where it was difficult to see after the pitches, I was signaling to her to the gate. Before the race I made a POV, I went down the course and did a video and sent it to her so that she could repeat the run.”
Delighted with her personal best FIS points, McKenna stepped up again today to compete in the Girl’s Giant Slalom, a race that was longer than the competitions in which she ordinarily competes. Embracing the challenge, and pushing her limits, the sixteen-year-old commented,
“Giorgio told me to ski more dynamically because he knows I can ski a bit faster. I think I did better in the top section this time. The course was quite long, in previous competitions, we usually complete each run in under a minute but, today’s course was 30 seconds longer”.
The Olympic Federation of Ireland has two athletes competing in the multi-sport event that plays a key role in the pathway of athletes, providing valuable learning experiences for athletes in a high-performance setting. The EYOF is hosted by the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy and runs from 21 – 28 January 2023.
RESULTS DAY THREE:
Eábha McKenna – Girl’s Giant Slalom – 42nd Overall with 3:02.79 (+16.31) Run 1 (50th – 1:38.19 – +10.28)
Gold Ludovica Righi (ITA) 2:46.48
Silver Moa Landstroem (SWE) 2:46.75 (+0.27)
Bronze Nadine Hundegger (AUT) 2:46.84 (+0.36)
SCHEDULE FRIDAY 27th JANUARY 2023 (Irish time)
08:30 Ethan Bouchard – Boy’s Giant Slalom Run 1
11:30 Ethan Bouchard – Boy’s Giant Slalom Run 2