First gold medals goes to Andora and Norway

The FIS Nordic Junior Ski World Championships kicked off in Planica. On the first day of competition, the sprinting challenge for freestyle skiers was on the schedule, featuring seven Slovenian participants in the qualifications. Following a strong qualifying performance, Tia Janežič concluded the race in the quarterfinals. First medal of the championship goes to Gina Del Rio from Andora.


The first gold medal at this year's FIS Nordic Junior Ski World Championships and FIS U23 World Ski Championships in cross-country was secured by Gina Del Rio from Andorra, who was the already fastest in the qualifying round. The second-place went to American Samantha Smith, and the third to Norwegian Milla Grosberghaugen Andreassen.


Photo: Borut Živulović/BOBO


In sunny weather and challenging snow conditions, Norwegian Lars Heggen excelled in the men's category, securing the top spot. Second place went to Swede Anton Grahn, and his teammate Jonatan Lindberg claimed the third spot.


Photo: Borut Živulović/BOBO


Among the Slovenian female competitors, Tia Janežič delivered the best performance. With the 26th qualifying time, she earned the right to compete in the quarterfinals, where she finished fourth in her group, concluding her appearances in front of the home crowd.


Qualifications proved challenging for Nika Ljubič, who ranked 40th, and Lucija Medja, placing 59th. Slovenian male competitors faced similar challenges, with Bor Petrovič in 43rd place, Lovrenc Karničar in 61st, Jaka Marinko in 68th, and Philip Lavrič Pregelj finishing in 71st place.


Tia Janežič on course. Photo: Borut Živulović/BOBO


Tia Janežič shared her thoughts after the race: "I believe I had a good start to the championship with the first race. I felt very good in the qualifications, gave it my all. In the quarterfinals, I had a slightly delayed start, which affected the finish. Fortunately, I had very fast skis, managed to catch the group on the descent. Then my competitors set a fierce pace uphill. I fought until the end and moved up a few places; I am very satisfied with the final result."


Eva Sever Rus, the coach of the Slovenian U20 national team, commented: "Given the circumstances, we have to be very pleased with today's performance. Throughout the season, we've had difficulties with illnesses and injuries. Tia achieved a good result, so we are satisfied."

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