SMOOTH START FOR TEAM IRELAND SKIERS WITH PBS IN SUPER-G
McKenna and Wilson compete on day two of the Winter Youth Olympics
Alpine Skiers Eábha McKenna and Finlay Wilson kickstarted their Youth Olympic campaign for Team Ireland today, clocking personal bests in the Super-G events in Alpine Skiing. This was the first of four days of competition for the Irish skiers in the High 1 Ski Resort, and the second day of action in the Winter Youth Olympics in Gangwon.
Super-G is the fastest of the three events in which youth Alpine Skiers compete, the slalom race is faster than the Giant Slalom with wider turns. The results in the Super-G are based on the finish times of athletes over one run. In the morning event, McKenna finished 38th out of 61 starters, with a time of 58.03 and a personal best of 148.59 FIS points.
Speaking after the race, the Wicklow skier who is based in Switzerland said,
“It was really exciting, and because the course was short, you were trying to be as fast as possible. You had to take the straightest line possible, so you had to be quite gutsy for that, but it was really fun. Before the start, I was a bit nervous. I knew that one of the girls had DNFed because the race was interrupted for a while.”
Seventeen-year-old McKenna competed in last year’s European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), which helped her keep focused in the multi-sport event,
“I took with me from the EYOF that I just needed to keep the same kind of mindset as that of any normal race. If you make too much of it, you get a bit nervous, so I just treat it the same as any other race.”
Finlay Wilson made his Youth Olympic debut, finishing 36th in the Super-G, with a time of 57.21, also gaining personal best FIS points with 121.26. The sixteen-year-old finished just +2.79 behind the German winner, Benno Brandis, and was happy with his opening event,
“Today was very good. It was an easy slope for Super-G, and conditions were pretty good at holding up, so in the end it was a good result. It’s satisfying to kick off the Games correctly, and I can’t wait for the next events to come. I’m here for the experience and to have fun, and that’s what happened today, so I’m happy.
“Having Eábha go before me was good, it was nice to get her feedback and it gave me more confidence, so I was able to push it like she did, and I’m happy with my performance.”
Born in England, with an Irish mother from Cookstown, Wilson is based in Chamonix, France, where he has been able to focus on skiing by switching his studies to homeschooling, maximising his time on the slopes.
Tomorrow both athletes will compete in the Alpine Combined, an event that involves them racing one run in Slalom and one run in Super-G, with the final time being a combination of the two.
Results 21 January
Eábha McKenna – Women’s Super-G, 38th place with 58.03
Finlay Wilson – Men’s Super-G, 36th place with 57.21
Schedule 22 January (Irish time)
00:00 (09:00 local time) Eábha McKenna – Alpine Combined – Super-G
01:20 (10:20 local time) Finlay Wilson – Alpine Combined Super G
04:00 (13:00 local time) Eábha McKenna – Alpine Combined – Slalom
05:20 (14:15 local time) Finlay Wilson – Alpine Combined Slalom