Japan wins Gold at Mixed Team premiere


Japan won the first Mixed Team Event at World Championships ever ahead of Austria and Germany.

History was written today in Val di Fiemme. For the first time ever a Mixed Team event was held as part of the World Ski Championships. In this new competition format, that was already tested successfully in Grand Prix and World Cup competitions before, a team is formed by two females and two males per country. Clear winner of this premiere came the team from Japan consisting of Yuki Ito, Daiki Ito, Sara Takanashi and Taku Takeuchi. In the end they had an advantage of 24.3 points on the second place. No words describe the extraordinarily performance of the team better than the fact, that six of their eight jumps were over 100 meters – deserved winners.

For the Silver medal it was a very close fight between Austria and Germany. The German team, with Ulrike Grässler, Richard Freitag, Carina Vogt and Severin Freund was leading for a long time, but in the end the Austrians Chiara Hölzl, Thomas Morgenstern, Jacqueline Seifriedsberger and Gregor Schlierenzauer were 1.8 points ahead and so won the Silver Medal, while Germany had to be happy with Bronze. “The Japanese team was very good today, so we are very satisfied with this silver medal”, said Gregor Schlierenzauer for the Austrian team. Germany’s Ulrike Grässler said: “It’s not just the third place, it is a medal at World Championships and we are totally happy to have it”.

Places four to eight were taken by the teams from Norway (Lundby, Hilde, Sagen, Bardal) France (Lemare, R. Lamy Chappuis, Mattel, Descombes Sevoie), the United States (Hendrickson, Frenette, Jerome, Johnson), Italy (Runggaldier, Morassi, Insam, Colloredo) and Slovenia (Bogataj, Hvala, Rogelj, Prevc). Russia and the Czech Republic did not qualify for the final round.

Break-through of Chiara Hölzl

Without the strong jumps of Chiara Hölzl, who already took the 9th place in the individual competition on Friday, the Austrian Silver Medal would not have been possible. The 15 year old from Schwarzach was almost unknown before of these World Championships and simply has to count as THE break-through athlete of these Championships.

When Austria’s top female jumper Daniela Iraschko tore her ACL in January it seemed so, that Austria would have no chance to win a medal in this mixed competition. The gap between the experienced jumpers Iraschko and Seifriedsberger and the junior team was just too big. But then the Hölzl showed up like a phoenix from the ashes here in Fiemme with far and nice jumps and so filled this gap perfectly. “Everybody knows that Danie is injured, so we are very happy and lucky to have Chiara,” said Schlierenzauer with a lot of appreciation for his team-mate. Before Hölzl jumped mainly in junior’s competitions such as the OPA Alpen Cup. A 30th place in Schonach was the best result of the four World Cups she started in. “This just happened. I did not have the feeling that I have to replace Daniela in the team. There was also no pressure from outside. I did not do any special training for this competition today. I just did the preparations for the Junior Worlds some weeks ago, and then the coaches decided that I have the chance to jump here.” she said to Ladies-Skijumping.com.