Alpine Combined events for Wilson and McKenna
A full day of action on day three of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, South Korea, saw Team Ireland’s Finlay Wilson and Eábha McKenna compete in the Alpine Combined, an event that is raced based on the fastest time of athletes over the combined results of a Super-G run and the more technical Slalom run.
A temperature drop overnight at the High 1 Ski Resort led to tricky conditions in the Slalom run, which resulted in a third of the field in both events not finishing. Wilson finished 33rd overall while Wicklow’s McKenna was listed as a DNF. The sixteen-year-old recorded a combined time of 2:01.48 in the Men’s event, which was won by Great Britain’s Zak Carrick-Smith.
After completing the first Super-G race, McKenna was one of eighteen athletes to DNF in the women’s slalom race. Head Coach of Team Ireland Alpine Skiers Giorgio Marchesini described the tricky course,
“It was icy today, because of how cold it was last night. The snow was pretty soft at the end yesterday and then it had a lot of ice. The Super-G was run on a different slope than the slalom, so that terrain was okay, even after a hundred runners. But a very tricky slalom was set in very soft terrain, which is not good. Finlay and Eábha were very good in training, and I was pretty happy with their skiing. And yesterday they both performed their best result in Super-G points.”
Wilson described his day of racing with mixed reviews of the two courses,
“The Super-G was really nice. The conditions were like World Cups. The first gate was really icy, but it stayed nice. The Slalom was a bit tighter than expected! There were a few bumps and a heavy gate. I struggled to produce a correct ski and maybe it is one to forget for the next race.”
Events like the Youth Olympics are important in the development of young athletes, with Marchesini saying,
“For these athletes this event is very important. They feel the atmosphere, and the kind of organisation here. Even with the race being outside of Europe, it’s a long trip and it makes them know that it is important. They also get to try some of the venues that were used in the previous Olympic Games (Pyeongchang 2018).”
Tomorrow will see Eábha McKenna compete in the Giant Slalom, an event that is a mix between the speed event of the Super-G and the more technical Slalom.
Results 22 January
Finlay Wilson – Men’s Alpine Combined, 33rd place with 2:01.48
Eábha McKenna – Women’s Alpine Combined, DNF
Schedule 23 January (Irish time)
01:00 (10:00 local time) Eábha McKenna – Giant Slalom Run 1
03:45 (12:45 local time) Eábha McKenna – Giant Slalom Run 2