Exciting first day of competition in Planica

22. 02. 2023

Exciting first day of competition in Planica

Cross-country skiers, Nordic combined skiers and women ski jumpers were in action on the first day of competition at the 43rd FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Planica 2023. The were 4,000 visitors at attendance in Planica on the first day.

Morning was reserved for Men and Women cross-country skiers who were competing in qualification in sprint free.
In the women's competition 5km qualification free race, Jaqueline Mourao, who has competed in eight Olympic Games in three different sports, took first place. The 47-year-old Brazilian was seven seconds faster than second-placed Lucija Medja of Slovenia and 34 seconds faster than Gigja Bjornsdottir of Israel. The top ten qualifiers have secured their places in the individual 10km free race, which will take place on 28 February.

In the men's competition, Albert Jonsson from Iceland won the 10km qualification free race . Second place went to Brazilian Manex Silva, almost a minute behind the winner. Third place went to Spartak Voskanyan of Armenia. The top ten finishers secured a ticket for the 15-kilometre individual free race on 1 March.

The Nordic combined men and women also had their first contact with the competition venues, as they had their first free training on the cross-country track and the normal hill (HS102).

The day ended with the women's ski jumping qualification on the normal hill in Planica.

Norway's Anna Odine Stroem who already showed great form in the free practice, took first place with only 0.2 points ahead of Germany's Katharina Althaus. Japan's Yuki Ito claimed third place. Stroem, who reached the distance of the day with 99 metres in qualification, looked forward to Thursday's competition where she is one of the favourites to win the FIS World Ski Championships gold: "My jumps were really good today and I am happy with that.
The hill is really nice and it’s always nice to jump here. I am excited about tomorrow’s competition and I hope I can show some nice jumps."

Canada's Alexandria Loutitt, winner of the World Cup event in Japan, was fourth overall, is also among the favorites to win one of the medals.
Two Slovenian jumpers were among the top ten. Nika Križnar, who returned to the national team after short illness, was eighth: "Considering a medical condition I was in yesterday, I am really happy to even compete here. I think I have shown two good jumps which means I am very close to
other competitors and I can go into tomorrow’s competition care free."

Second Slovenian Ema Klinec was just once place behind her, finising in ninth place.

On Thursday, the athletes will face new challenges.

The men and Women cross-country skiers will compete in sprint in the classic style. It all starts at 12:00. Under the floodlights, at 17:00, the women ski jumpers will start and finish the opening race on the normal hill.