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Silver in the mixed team competition on the normal hill and bronze for the Austrian combined relay: The balance for Austria on the penultimate day of competition is great. Teresa Stadlober, who crossed the finish line after 30km as a strong eighth, ran a courageous race in front of a home crowd.
The ski jumping quartet with Eva Pinkelnig, Philipp Aschenwald, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz and Stefan Kraft won silver in the mixed team competition and the ninth medal at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships for Austria. For the Tyrolean Aschenwald a true ski jump fairy tale: "Two months ago I didn't know that I would be at the World Championships. And now two medals - that's unbelievable." The atmosphere also made a lasting impression on the young Zillertal player: "I've never experienced such an atmosphere before - you jump into a sea of flags.
The Austrians didn't make it easy for the Germans to defend their title. Until the last run they kept the chance for the first gold medal at these title fights. Eva Pinkelnig brought the best eight teams red-white-red in the final round once again in front. The Vorarlberg player had received additional motivation from the more than 11,000 fans in the stadium: "I saw the end of the Nordic combined at the diving tower. After that, the fans felt as if they were all flowing into the jumping stadium. The red-white-red flag more gave me incredible wings."
4 competitions, 4 medals
The team competition of the Nordic Combiners was no less exciting. After the ÖSV quartet Bernhard Gruber, Mario Seidl, Franz-Josef Rehrl and Lukas Klapfer had worked their way up the hill to a wafer-thin lead for the cross-country ski run, the 4x5km relay team degenerated into a true combination thriller.
Routinier Bernhard Gruber had been the first in the cross-country ski run to briefly let the hope for an Austrian gold medal germinate: "The fans were a madness. You were really carried by the crowd." Seidl also scattered roses to the audience at the Nordic World Championships in Tyrol: "A World Championships with so many people and at home we will probably not see any more". It was not until the finish that the ÖSV team had to give way to Norway and Germany. "It was so hard," said Klapfer. "Anyone who has stood on cross-country skis today can understand that every metre was twice as strenuous with the deep snow," added Seidl, a strong jumper. The final result of the combiners is accordingly positive. "It's sensational that we were also able to pick up a medal in the second team competition. Four competitions and four medals - we did a great job and shone as a team," said Franz-Josef Rehrl with satisfaction. Gold in the team competition went to Norway, the DSV team won the silver medal.
At the end of the rope
Teresa Stadlober, who had to give up a start at the skiathlon after a severe cold, ran a courageous race and ended up in a good 8th place. For a long time the Salzburg rider had been in the top group, but in the end she was 2:03.8 minutes behind the superior winner Therese Johaug (NOR). "The atmosphere in Seefeld today was amazing. Already at the last competition I had the feeling that everyone was cheering me on and supporting me. That was like that again today. The many fans pushed and supported me so", Stadlober said enthusiastically. "Nevertheless, I was happy when I finally crossed the finish line - I was really at the end of my rope today", the best ÖSV cross-country skier let me know. For the young cross-country skiers, the Austrian also had a tip ready: "I hope that I can be a role model. Cross-country skiing is such a beautiful sport. It is important to believe in yourself and not to lose your motivation and fun in cross-country skiing".
With 450 PS to the perfect competition track
Not only the athletes deliver top performances within the framework of the Nordic World Ski Championships - man and machine are also in top form outside the competitions. Once the last cross-country skier has left the terrain, the day really starts for the "heroes of the night": cross-country trail preparation for the world's best cross-country skiers and combiners is the daily challenge. The PRINOTH team worked around 500 to 600 hours during the Nordic World Ski Championships. With four men and a total of six vehicles, the PRINOTH Demoteam Austria has already been in action for weeks on the cross-country ski runs in Seefeld and the Bergisel ski jump in Innsbruck. Major events of this kind push man and machine to their limits, Werner Amort, President of PRINOTH, knows: "The cross-country ski run must be prepared to the point. Mistakes are not allowed. At the same time, extreme loads help us to optimize our equipment and develop new innovations". The athletes' summary of the cross-country skiing conditions during the World Championships is correspondingly positive. "The conditions were not easy with large temperature differences. We really have to compliment the organiser on the excellent trails," says triple medal winner Bernhard Gruber.
| TirolBerg TV Studio Seefeld