The final two starting spots up for grabs on the Austrian women’s team heading to Levi have been claimed by 17-year-old Christina Ager and 22-year-old Ricarda Haaser. It will be the World Cup debut for both skiers who have been training in the past with the Europa Cup group. After a total of four runs each on the Moelltaler Glacier, the two posted the fastest times among those attempting to qualify. Seven other Austrian athletes were pre-selected as automatics, and they also took part in the time trial. Ager and Haaser ultimately beat out veteran Eva-Maria Brem as well as Hannah Koeck and Rosina Schneeberger for the available starting spots.
The fastest in qualifying was Bernadette Schild who finished ahead of Kathrin Zettel and her sister Marlies Schild, all three of whom were already automatics for Levi. Additionally, they will be joined in the start north of the Arctic Circle by Ager and Haaser along with Alexandra Daum, Michaela Kirchgasser, Niki Hosp, and Carmen Thalmann.
“Ricarda and Christina… have shown great performances. The two have established themselves through their achievements. Also for our pre-qualified, it was good competition training today. This pressure, which is indeed a positive pressure withstanding, is simply a must,” said Austrian head women’s coach Juergen Kriechbaum.
“It definitely feels very good to be able to start for the first time in the World Cup, I did not expect it…. It is good that the intense training during the summer months has paid off, I’m just happy that I’m starting in Levi,” noted Ager.