Odermatt amazes and his buddy celebrates premiere(s)
After taking time out to nurse his injury, Marco Odermatt returns to Cortina with a double strike, while his good friend Marco Kohler takes his first victory in the Europa Cup.
After Kitzbühel, ski fans and the ski circuit had two burning questions, which ultimately only one person could answer: will Marco Odermatt be fit in time for the World Championships in Courchevel/Meribel (February 6 to 19)? And if so, will France see an Odermatt in top form? The Nidwalden athlete offered answers earlier than expected. And these answers, given on the “Olimpia delle Tofane” slope of Cortina d’Ampezzo, were clear.
A win in the Super-G on Saturday, and a win in the Super-G on Sunday. What about the knee? “That responded well. I don’t have any problems,” said Odermatt at the finish line on Saturday, shortly after he astonished everyone – including himself – with his comeback victory. ”This is definitely one of my sweetest wins. I want to thank my team for their support over the past week. I had some brief downtime during the week and didn’t think it was enough for the race. That it worked out this way is, of course, unbelievable,” he said in an interview with Swiss TV. He wasn’t as focused at the start as he usually is and didn’t get into his habitual flow during the Saturday runs. ”I even thought about my knee on the way down. I then tried to go gate-by-gate and rebuild confidence that way.”
Sunday was a different matter. This time he was prepared and much more self-confident, because he knew his knee could take the strain. With the Cortina double, Marco Odermatt provided all-important proof that he can push himself again after bruising his left knee meniscus in Kitzbühel – and that he’s mentally in top form: as on Saturday, Odermatt took risks in the second race and snatched a lot of time away from the competition on certain parts of the course. “I threw everything I had at this race,” declared Odermatt at the finish. “Of course, I had a lot of self-confidence after Saturday’s race and noticed from the very first turn that all was good.” He did a good inspection and adopted a tactical approach in one or two places. The route he chose was a good one. Just like the Stöckli equipment, which service man Chris Lödler prepared a little differently to protect the knee.
After Cortina, it’s now time to relax before Odermatt goes medal hunting in Courchevel/Meribel.
First EC victory for Marco Kohler, best result for Nicole Good
Marco Odermatt wasn’t the only racer to cause a sensation over the past few days with Stöckli equipment. Marco Kohler from Haslital, a good friend of Marco’s, took second place in the FIS Alpine Skiing Europa Cup downhill at Orcières Merlette on Sunday. “In the lower part, I didn’t hit the line perfectly, otherwise it was pretty good,” said the 25-year-old, announcing that he wanted to do better on the same run on Monday (30 January). No sooner said than done, because on Monday Kohler was faster than everyone else and was able to celebrate his first victory in the Europa Cup.
For her part, St. Gallen’s Nicole Good decided not to take part in the Europa Cup slalom in Vaujany (FRA). Competing instead in the World Cup slaloms in Spindlermühle (CZE), she finished 12th – her best World Cup result ever. ”Oh sure, the decision to race here and not in France was definitely the right one – it paid off. I’m very happy with how I skied today – I really enjoyed it,” said the happy Stöckli athlete on Saturday.
The ski crossers were also in action at the Europa Cup races on the weekend. At Reiteralm, Daniel Bohnacker (GER), Gil Martin (SUI), Daniela Maier (GER) and India Sherret (CAN) secured places in the big finals. And in the end, each earned one of the rankings 1 to 4: Daniela Maier won her final, India Sherret secured a second place, Gil Martin finished third – only Daniel Bohnacker finished just off the podium in fourth place.