Alpine Worlds 2019: Two undefeated champions

Clean sweep for Marie Bochet and Jeroen Kampschreur 01 Feb 2019
By Lena Smirnova | For World Para Alpine Skiing

“I need to take a lot of time to realise this Grand Slam. I’m very happy to do it because I missed it in the last World Champs and I know I can do it. Every time it’s different. Every new world title, it’s the first one. I can’t imagine stopping this career for the moment because I take a lot of pleasure in it and every time when I win, I am very happy”

France’s Marie Bochet and the Netherlands’ Jeroen Kampschreur swept the gold medals in their respective classes, leaving the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships with five top awards each.

The super-combined race on Thursday (30 January) wrapped up the bi-annual competition, which was co-hosted by Kranjska Gora, Slovenia and Sella Nevea, Italy.

Women’s standing – Say cheese

Bochet lived up to her status as a multi-world and Paralympic champion, going undefeated in all five races in the women’s standing class.

“I need to take a lot of time to realise this Grand Slam,” Bochet said. “I’m very happy to do it because I missed it in the last World Champs and I know I can do it.”

The French skier won the super-G earlier in the day and was a class act in the break between the races as she went around with a plate of cheese from her parents’ farm and treated fellow athletes to the slices.

“Every time it’s different. Every new world title, it’s the first one,” Bochet said after returning to the finish line as a new champion. “I can’t imagine stopping this career for the moment because I take a lot of pleasure in it and every time when I win, I am very happy.”

Andrea Rothfuss was second to the French skier for the third time while Bochet’s friend, Frederique Turgeon of Canada, took bronze – a third medal at her first World Championships.

Men’s sitting – Man to beat

If the clean sweep was expected of Bochet, it was more of a surprise coming from Jeroen Kampschreur. Known more as a technical racer, the Dutch sit skier also proved uncatchable in the speed events where he achieved his personal best results.

With the super-combined gold, Kampschreur succeeded in defending all of his three titles from the 2017 Worlds in Tarvisio. With the two new titles, he’ll be the man to beat in 2021.

“On one part that’s really cool and on the other, I have everything to lose in the next World Champs so I really got to keep training so I can keep these titles,” he said.

Norway’s Jesper Pedersen completed the 2019 World Championships with a silver in super- combined, which brought his total medal tally at the competition to four medals – a big step up from two years ago when he narrowly missed the podium in his events.

Japan’s Takeshi Suzuki was third.

Men’s standing – Noble finish

Arthur Bauchet was back on top of the podium after his golden blitz in the technical events in Kranjska Gora.

Both of his main rivals were out of contention by the time Bauchet stood on the starting line – Theo Gmur crashed in the slalom run while Markus Salcher chose not to start after hurting his leg in a tumble in the super-G race.

The time was prime for Bauchet to act and the French skier left no doubt about his skills, completing a smooth run and sailing across the finish line with his usual high-energy celebration.

“It means a lot because two years ago I fell in the super-combined and I knew my mother was down the slope and I said, ‘No, I go up, I take the gate and I go down’, and this time, I just go down,” Bauchet said. “It’s really magic to live that again.”

Switzerland’s Thomas Pfyl came second while USA’s Thomas Walsh was a surprising third.

Women’s sitting – Japan’s jubilation

Momoka Muraoka started and ended the 2019 World Championships with a gold medal. Her first came in giant slalom and the second in super-combined.

“I’m very very surprised because I’m not so good in slalom.” Muraoka said. “I’m also not so good at super-combined. I even hate it, just a little bit.”

Defending champion Anna Schaffelhuber settled for silver, while the Paralympic champion in the discipline Anna-Lena Forster rebounded from her fourth place in super-G with a stronger slalom run that earned her the bronze.

Women’s vision impaired – Worthwhile wait

Australia’s Melissa Perrine came close to winning gold in slalom, but stumbled in the final metres and ultimately finished third. But that gold medal was hers at last on the final day of the 2019 Worlds.

A stellar slalom portion of the super-combined allowed her and guide Bobbi Kelly to push the super-G winners, Fitzpatrick and Kehoe, into second place. Fellow British pair Kelly Gallagher and Gary Smith took the bronze.

“We were definitely not happy with our super-G run. We had a massive mistake and we couldn’t get our rhythm back,” Perrine said. “The slalom was like a clean slate for us. We said, ‘Well, we can’t make it any worse so let’s just try and make it better’.”

Men’s vision impaired – Dolce vita

Giacomo Bertagnolli and guide Fabrizio Casal took gold in every event they competed in on home soil in Sella Nevea, Italy and finished the 2019 Worlds with top places in all events except giant slalom.

A Slovakian duo took the clean sweep away from the Italians, and another two Slovakian pairs challenged them in the super-combined.

Jakub Krako and Branislav Brozman finished with a silver, while Miroslav Haraus and Maros Hudik were third.

“It’s too much,” Brozman said about Bertagnolli’s victories.

“We were out of power in the races,” Krako said. “He’s younger than me so I have to say congrats, but next time maybe we win.”

All results from the 2019 World Championships can be found on World Para Alpine Skiing website.