Tough winter conditions for the Lithuanian Alpine Ski Championship slalom meant that not all competitors made it to the finish line
I came, I saw, I conquered. That’s how the Lithuanian Alpine Ski Championship slalom competition, which took place in the Italian resort of Kronplatz, can be titled for Ieva Januškevičiūtė. The 17-year-old arrived in Kronplatz only on the eve of the race, but no one could equal her in the overall results for the women and she ranked third among all championship participants. Only the men’s pre-race favorites, Karolis Janulionis and Aivaras Tumas, had a clear advantage over her.
“It wasn’t hard to win. Only the weather was very bad. I tried not to risk too much,” explained Januškevičiūtė. She arrived at the Lithuanian championships from the International Ski Federation (FIS) camp taking place nearby. The Lithuanian trains together with skiers from other countries—the selection for the camp took place this past spring and was based on each skier’s skill.
Fifteen-year-old Greta Piliponytė took second place among all women after two combined runs. She lost 16.15 seconds to Januškevičiūtė. In third place was last year’s overall winner, 13-year-old Eglė Augustaitytė. She was almost 20 seconds behind; in the second run Januškevičiūtė was slightly less than four seconds slower.
In the first run Augustaitytė skied out and had to hike back up to a gate in order to finish. Other skiers made similar mistakes, and many did not finish due to a significant amount of new snow and low visibility.
“Sometimes in such conditions, FIS races are delayed or even canceled. But often we have to race in such conditions,” added Januškevičiūtė.
On the men’s side, the race was won by the country’s overall champion of the past three years: 21-year-old Karolis Janulionis. With a time of 1:52.00 he beat his main competitor, 17-year-old Aivaras Tumas. In third place was 15-year-old Kasparas Gudžius who was 7.34 second behind.
“Every year it becomes more difficult to defend my title. I didn’t think I would be able to win this year because I do not have as much time for training as I would like. A lot of my time is spent with sailing. The farther away they are, the more difficult it is to coordinate my trips, because neither one takes precedence for me,” said Janulionis, who was selected as the 2012 Best Young Lithuanian Sailor and sophomore at Vilnius University.
As usual, the Janulionis name was heard more than once during the award presentation, which was held at the bottom of the slope shortly after the finish. For boys born in 1998 and younger, Radvilas Janulionis took the gold medal, and their father Adomas Janulionis received the bronze medal for men born 1959-1978.
For Kristijonas Sokas, there were two reasons to celebrate: he celebrated his 12th birthday with a silver medal in his age group.
On Thursday the Lithuanian skiers will battle it out in the giant slalom. On Friday, the amateur race will be held.
Slalom results (start – 1880 m.; finish – 1745 m; 45 gates):
L2 (1998 and younger): 1. E. Augustaitytė – 1:55.26, 2. A. Banelytė 2:09.73
L3 (1997-1979): 1. I. Januškevičiūtė – 1:36.68, 2. G. Piliponytė – 1:52.83, 3. M. Laužikaitė – 2:12.39
L4 (1978 and older): 1. M. Linkevičienė – 2:10.82, 2. L. Požerskytė – 2:33.44, 3. A. Matusevičienė – 2:34.30
M2 (1998 and younger): 1. R. Janulionis – 1:50.36, 2. K. Sokas – 2:2.21, 3. T. Matusevičius – 2:27.43
M3 (1997-1979): 1. K. Janulionis – 1:29.97, 2. A. Tumas – 1:31.49, 3. K. Gudžius – 1:37.31
M4 (1978-1959): 1. A. Grigaras – 1:39.01, 2. R. Lažinskas – 1:41.46, 3. A. Janulionis – 1:42.27
M5 (1958 and older): 1. T. Milašius – 1:49.19, 2. I. Lažinskas – 2:11.34, 3. S. Grigas – 3:00.79