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“Giant premiere” in Schladming made you want more

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The runners would also welcome that, as floodlight events are usually reserved for the slalom specialists. “Next year after the Kitzbühel weekend, Friday and Saturday, slalom and giant slalom in Schladming,” Manuel Feller suggested a weekend appointment.

“Really awesome!” was Feller’s impression after the first round. “If there had been a bit more snow, they might have been able to make one or the other wave even more prominent. But considering that it was all on such short notice, the slope is great, the light is great. It’s really fun, the atmosphere also fits.”

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Schladming stepped in as the organizer for Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where the competition should have taken place on January 29th in daylight. However, insufficient snow in advance caused the organizers to cancel the event. In a week and a half, Schladming had to set up a second race and, among other things, the floodlights for the upper section of the slope.

“A massive giant slalom slope, really cool. It may not be the most difficult, but it’s easy to look at,” said Stefan Brennsteiner after the atmospheric event. “One of the most beautiful giant slaloms we’ve had so far this year,” stressed Roland Leitinger. “If you know it a little earlier, there will be more people,” he commented on the crowd of 7,500 in the spectator area. The day before, 27,500 people attended the slalom night race, and more than ten thousand also bustled around the city.

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Meillard won the Schladming giant slalom, Schwarz finished third

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SCHLADMING. The Swiss Loic Meillard won the night giant slalom in Schladming on Wednesday.

Meillard won the Schladming giant slalom, Schwarz finished third

“A pleasure for everyone”

“Of course we’re happy that we have the race today and hope that it will stay with us in the future. It’s a pleasure for everyone,” said Raphael Haaser. “It’s just better to drive with floodlights and everyone has the same visibility,” said Germany’s Alexander Schmid, adding that night racing is difficult to justify given the difficult situation in the energy markets. “It was really nice. I hope that we can do more of that in the future,” RTL winner Loic Meillard from Switzerland also pleaded for several repetitions.

The WSV Schladming, which supports the organization on site, is in any case ready if all other stakeholders want it, said chairman Hansjörg Stocker. “There is interest,” said FIS race director Markus Waldner. With more time for careful planning, an even better product could have been put together. “It’s our turn to think about it,” said the South Tyrolean with regard to the next season.

Schladming races at the weekend in the future?

The situation of the Schladming double pack within the week would also have to be clarified. “You have to think carefully about the date, whether you’re doing anything wrong anyway. As a night race during the week, it’s absolutely proven itself,” said Mandl. In recent years, Kitzbühel has usually been followed by a speed scene on the Alpine calendar at the weekend – mostly Garmisch-Partenkirchen. That would normally require downhill training on Thursday mornings, which would probably not be logistically possible after a race on Wednesday evening.

What the calendar will look like in the future, however, is open – that could open up new options for Schladming. “A weekend date would probably be even better to bring even more viewers live on site,” stressed Mandl. The TV situation also plays a decisive role. Mandl: “When you have an event like Schladming, the German audience is also there. They have to broadcast, that’s quite clear.”

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