Skiing | The results reveal the complete collapse of Finnish skiing at the Junior World Championships

Juniors The World Cup skiing ended in Planica, Slovenia on Sunday, and the results of the Finnish cross-country skiers in the under-20 series are harsh reading.

The skiers representing Finland managed to achieve only three positions in the top 20. No medals were awarded to skiers in this age group.

Delivery ski expert Harri Kirvesniemi says that the situation in terms of age group is worrying.

“Relatively talented previous twenties have moved to the adult league. There is clearly a lack of skiers who are at the top of the world in their age group,” Kirvesniemi said.

Ax Cape thinks that the collapse also speaks more broadly about the situation in skiing, in the sense that success in Finland has typically depended on individual high-quality individuals.

In recent years, success in junior leagues has been achieved by, for example Niko Anttola, Niilo Moilanen, Alexander Ståhlberg and Eemil Helander. Kirvesniemi considers the previous age group to be of high quality internationally.

According to Kirvesniemi, Finnish training culture also plays a part in the weaker years.

“If we are going to reach the top, then mainly a little later.”

Except that the Finns’ rankings were far from the top this time, and the differences grew huge. For example, in the traditional 10 kilometers, even the best Finn in the men’s series was the winner Niilo Mäkinen about two and a half minutes. The best Finn in the women’s series Nora Kytäjä was 17th, more than a minute and a half behind the leader.

The background of the barren figures is partly the difficult conditions in Planica. Many races were skied in wet weather.

“In heavy conditions, the differences become much bigger than when skiing in freezing temperatures. The bananas weren’t particularly heavy. A lot of work was done on the easy sections.”

One The most interesting athletes of the Planica Games were those from Sweden who competed in the under-20 age group Alvar Myhlback. The promise, which turns 18 this year, has been talked about for several years already, and in Slovenia he took the gold in the 10 km race.

Myhlback had time to debut in the World Cup this season as well. He participated in Jällivaara, where he beat all the Finns who took part in the race, even at the adult level, then in freestyle skiing.

Read more: A harsh detail in the results: the 17-year-old’s promise covered all Finnish male skiers

Kirvesniemi considers Myhlback to be an exceptional talent who has the potential to reach the top level of adults as well.

“Of course, time will tell if he was a guy who developed really early or if he continues to develop at a dizzying pace, in which case he has the potential to become a real ruler on the adult side.”

In the U23 age group There will be a skiing medal for Finland, when Hilla Niemelä was second in the sprint. Niemelää Kirvesniemi considers her a potential member of the adult national team within a few years.

“It’s a good thing that development has gone forward year after year,” says Kirvesniemi.

As a whole, Kirvesniemi is particularly satisfied with the scope of the level in the youth competitions.

“The countries of Central Europe and North America were very well represented. The top of the list of results was much more extensive to read than usual.”


The Finns in the U20 series of the Junior World Ski Championships

  • Mixed message: Finland 10.

  • 10 km (p) men: 23. Niilo Mäkinen (+2.26.1), 39. Jalmari Bergqvist (+2.58.1), 43. Akseli Pitkänen (+3.11.7) 47. Juho Länsiluoto (+3.21.5)

  • 10 km (p) women: 17. Nora Kytäjä (+1.40,8), 26. Ella Noora Haapalehto (+2.11,3), 27. Silva Kemppi +2.22,5) 42. Selene Rossi (+3+34,3)

  • 20 km (v) men: 14. Niilo Mäkinen (+4.41.8), 39. Eemil Naumanen (+7.54.1), 59. Jalmari Bergqvist (was flagged out because he was passed in the lap)

  • 20 km (v) women: 23. Nora Kytäjä (+2.35,4), 28. Silva Kemppi (+3.48,5), 38. Selene Rossi +5.54,6), 46. Annu Virtanen (+7.26,1)

  • Sprint (v) men: 19. Juho Länsiluoto, 27. Jalmari Bergqvist, 35. Juuso Kinnunen, 50. Akseli Pitkänen

  • Sprint (v) women: 24. Ella Noora Haapalehto, 29. Nora Kytäjä, 39. Emmi Henriksson, 52. Silva Kemppi

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