World premiere with a wow effect
As part of the Coop FIS Cross-Country World Cup 2024 in Oberhof, the German talents in the U14 and U15 age groups also made their grand appearance. They have competed in the DSV e.infra Schülercup in the LOTTO Thüringen ARENA am Rennsteig.
The participants in the DSV e.infra Schülercup will probably never forget this weekend in Thuringia. Parallel to the competitions of the best cross-country skiers of the world, the kick-off of the school cup series took place as FIS Coop Mini World Cup - an absolute world premiere in the cross-country skiing circus. On the challenging World Cup courses in the LOTTO Thüringen ARENA am Rennsteig and in front of up to 2,500 spectators per competition day, they were able to show what they are made of.
On Saturday – immediately after the mass starts of the World Cup athlets – an individual race in the classic technique over 4.5 and 6 kilometers was on the program, for which a total of 188 starters had registered. Anderl Grätz (SC Partenkirchen) and Selma Gürtler (SV Medizin Bad Liebenstein) won in the U14 age group. Alexander Buschek (SC Furth im Wald) and Hanna Hennig (SV Neudorf), the sister of Olympic champion Katharina Hennig, won the U15 category. The successes were celebrated at the big award ceremony in Oberhof's Kurpark on Saturday evening.
On Sunday – before the women's and men's relay – a technical sprint followed, in which Titus Fischer (SG Rennsteig Masserberg) and Lina Baldauf (SC Oberstdorf) in the U14 and Hannes Maier (WSG Feldberg) and Maxi Strittmatter (SV Kirchzarten) in the U15 were able to prevail against a total of 194 athletes.
Contact with the idols
The talented youngsters not only gained valuable competition experience on the big stage at the weekend, but also came into contact with their idols. They took the opportunity to collect autographs, photos or even starting numbers of the stars of the scene - and have been given tips on the not-so-short road to the World Cup.
The DSV e.infra Schülercup was organized by the Ski- und Wanderverein (SWV) Goldlauter. „We are very satisfied. Everything worked out great in the preparation and the races. It was a great experience, especially for the starters“, said club chairman Jens Walther. The demand for the event was high: the number of registrations was significantly higher than for a school cup off the spotlight of the World Cup.
German national coach Peter Schlickenrieder also had a lot of praise left for the event. „Whether biathlon or cross-country skiing: We need children who enjoy skiing. That's the only way we'll still have top athletes in 20 years from now“, he said at the World Cup organizers' press conference.