Slovak skimountaineering team took part in World Championships in Cuneo – Italy which from
March 28 to April 4. Every member of the team was in good mood because of the previous results
in World Cup and Vertical race. Those best were expecting very good results also in the individual race.
On Friday, March 3rd, was singles race in a program as an event of World Championships in
skimountaineering. It was about to be in the different place than it had been till now.
The name of the ski resort is Artesina, 30 km far from Cuneo. It seemed to be closer than
to Crissolo, but it took almost the same time to get there.
When we arrived, everyone noticed that it was going to be at least a little bit interesting
race that day. It was very windy up in the mountains – I mean where the track went. But at
that moment, we didn’t even dream about what is going to happen. I didn’t start today, so
I spent time by helping our younger athletes with final preparations before start. Katka went
to the most exposed part of the track with fix-ropes to take photos.
Organizers were dealing about the track change, because of the wind conditions. It was realy
windy. So the start was delayed.
It took organizers almost 1 hour to make decision, and finally they changed track of adults,
but junior and cadet track remained unchanged. Finally, start came.
At start - Svätojánsky and Madaj in senior category. After 15 min. took place start of young
categories. Guys were okay, but girls were showing a great respect before the race. Yet, some
miniature corrections such as shortening of wind protecting anorak of Maťa Dobošová, because
anoraks should be obligatory worn. So yet last encouragement and... and start.
I went to have my skis from the „before start area“ and went to follow our athletes. Track was
crossed couple times so I could see racers a more than one time through the race. I ran down
girls in a while and guys were a little bit faster and farer. I planned to wait for them later
on the other place. After 35 minutes of walking, I was right behind Vierka, Lucia was not far
in front of us and Maťa was even in front of her. Maťa was from time to time at 1st position,
Lucia in a group of three on 2nd – 4th place and Vierka was also on about 3rd – 4th position.
I didn’t see guys very well, but they seemed to be well prepared.
As we came up to a small plateau, there was suddenly silence everywhere. It wasn’t very suitable
there. I looked in front of us and saw the zigzag line made of athletes going up the hill which
suddenly disappeared. Everything was very silent and really so fast…few horrible seconds of fear.
Organizers started to hurry up and in a while everybody was looking for those under the snow.
Most of them immediately knew what to do in such a situation and quickly checked their friends.
It is obvious that they were couple meters down the hill from them. Some of them farther but
the worst was that they were under the snow. Later, to make sure, that everybody was saved members
of mountain rescue formed the groups which checked the avalanche once again. Obviously, the race
was suspended and it was over.
It was not very good for this sport, I mean for Slovakia, but also for others, it could be very good
results, and again a new World Champion…. But it is necessary to say, that health is much more important.
Our guys, Michal Jokl and Juraj Laštík, who were involved in the accident are fine and without injuries
but with a great experience of falling in the avalanche. Jakub Sliačan was a bit behind them and so
he was not involved.
We hope that tomorrow we will have good luck in relays, because it is really required in such as sport.
Our two teams: Martina Dobošová, Michal Jokl, Juraj Laštík and second team Peter Svätojánsky, Miroslav
Leitner, Milan Blaško, Milan Madaj. All of them are ready to do their best and maybe they will win. So
we wish them good luck, once again.
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