The traditional Pupils’ Summer Grand Prix, held in conjunction with the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix, took place in Klingenthal (GER) this year. The event was not only stage at a new site – previously Berchtesgaden (GER) – but also included a new category of competitors: This year, girls aged 14-15 had their own official competition.
Ten athletes from four different nations (GER, ITA, NOR, SLO) took advantage of this possibility to compete. Magdalena Schnurr (GER) won, in front of Gyda Enger (NOR) and Ann-Kristin Ahlers, also of Germany.
All in all, the first Nordic Combined competition for girls was a great success. “I’m very happy about this chance to compete in Klingenthal. The organization was perfect and it was nice to see so many competitors from different nations. The side events, too, such as the excursion to the summer bob track, were wonderful,” said 14-year-old Simona Senoner from Italy.
The coach of the German team, Sven Koch was equally enthusiastic. “It was a great event. At present, most girls in Nordic Combined are jumpers who also like to ski. However, if more Nordic Combined competitions for girls were offered, many might specialize in Nordic Combined rather than in Ski Jumping. It would help bring the level of competition up rapidly.”
FIS Nordic Combined Race Director Uli Wehling commented: “We in the FIS Nordic Combined Executive Board are pleased about the success of the first official event for girls in Klingenthal. Our approach is a long-term strategy to help the National Ski Associations to develop female participation in Nordic Combined from the ground up. The races for this age group are primarily held at the local and regional levels. We hope that some organizers will take advantage of this chance to stage winter events this season. And we’ll be happy to use all available means to support this development and shall evaluate the situation again in our spring meeting in Cape Town.”