Matthias Graf dominated the ski cross qualifiers in San Candido. © Christian Chortschenthaler
Tuesday was all about four ski World Cup qualifying runs in the three Zinnen Dolomites. In the men’s category, there was no way to overtake Austrian Matthias Graf, in the women’s category Sandra Naslund was in a league of her own. Pleased with the view of South Tyrol: Local champion Dominic Zweich managed to qualify for both races on Wednesday and Thursday on the Haunold.
December 20, 2022
With two nearly identical runs, Matthias Graf was the fastest skier on Tuesday. The 26-year-old, who celebrated his first World Cup victory in the season-opener in Val Thorens, mastered the 1,340-meter circuit debut with a 229-meter lead over Haunold in 1:11.11 minutes and was just 0.22 seconds slower. In the second round. This means that the man from Vorarlberg is inevitably the front-runner for the two decisions on Wednesday, December 21st and Thursday, December 22nd, both of which start at 12 noon.
Based on the results of the playoffs, Graf’s strongest opponents in San Candido are likely to be his compatriot Johannes Rorwick, Frenchman Bastien Midol and Canadian Hoden Reis. In the two qualifying rounds, they finished behind Graf, who won the European Cup overall standings last year. Above all, Midol is Haunold, as last year’s win and four second places impressively confirm. But Howden and Rohrweck were also on the podium at the Ski World Cup in the three Zinnen Dolomites. Germany’s Florian Wilmsmann also showed the second fastest time in the second qualifier.
Zwish and Diromidis in both finals, Zorzi in one
Dominique Zweich of Lana and Simon Deromidis of Trentino were the only skiers from the Italian winter sports federation FISI to qualify for both decisions in South Tyrol. Eduardo Zorzi, from Songafazzo in the Bergamo region, will play the final on Thursday. But for Federico Tomassoni, Yannick Jansch and Filippo Zamboni, the home World Cup is already over.
Dominic Zweich qualified for the race both times. © Christian Chortschenthaler
Only Sandra Näslund, an exceptional performer, can beat herself in the women’s decisions in South Tyrol on Wednesday and Thursday. The 26-year-old Swede has won all three previous World Cup races and outlasted her rivals in both races last year in Haunold. It was similar in Tuesday’s qualifying session, where she was the only female skier to stay under the 1.14 mark. The Olympic champion and World Cup winner clocked 1m 13.83s and 1m 13.96s.
Sandra Näslund dominated women. © Christian Chortschenthaler
Both times, Scandinavian Fanny Smith from Switzerland, with whom she already had exciting duels last year, came closest. Smith was 1.34 and 1.72 seconds behind Näslund. Germany’s Daniela Mayer finished third in each of the two qualifying rounds, showing her ambitions to climb to the podium.
Italian runner Julie Galli also reached the final of the top 16. The 27-year-old from Livigno finished ninth in both qualifying rounds. Last year, Galle placed 7th and 9th at home in the three Zinnen Dolomites.
The track in San Candido promises exciting races. © Christian Chortschenthaler
The final match on Wednesday, December 21, which will be played in an exciting knockout system, begins at 12 pm with the men’s round of 16. Simon Deromidis playing at 12.06pm in heat three, Dominic Zweich battling for the quarter-final in the seventh at 12.18pm. The first women’s quarterfinal match is scheduled for 12:24 p.m. Julie Galli will have to face megastar Sandra Näslund immediately. The finals at the 3 Zinnen Dolomites Ski Cross World Cup will take place at 1.10pm (women) and 1.19pm (men).
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