Light and shadow for German stars

Romed Baumann fourth, Josef Ferstl sixth: The German downhill skiing team in Wengen raises hopes for the Olympics.

Baumann was only briefly annoyed by the wafer-thin missed bang before the Olympics. “Mei, the hundredths will come back at some point,” said the Vice World Champion about his strong fourth place in the thrilling World Cup Super-G in Wengen, and added with a mischievous grin: “Maybe we need them again this year…”

For example at the Olympics in Beijing on February 8th, the next race in the second fastest discipline. Baumann seems to have gotten in shape just in time – like Josef Ferstl, who finished sixth in the sixth win of the season for the Swiss wonder boy Marco Odermatt and was better than he had been since his Kitzbühel victory in 2019. “January,” said Ferstl with a smile, “has always been a good month for me, this time we’ll also take February with us.” And a medal?

“We Germans can ski a bit,” said Ferstl mischievously, and yes, he personally “can do a lot”. In addition, the upward trend comes at the “right time”. In short: “Of course I’m happy.”

Alpine skiing: Romed Baumann nourishes hopes

This also applied to Baumann after the first anger about the botched Ziel-S. The native Austrian has only ever been better once in a World Cup Super-G – on his only podium finish as third over eleven years ago in Lake Louise.

“It was a cool race for me,” he said, “I had the confidence again that I can attack.” Finally!

Baumann has had difficult months in the discipline in which he won silver at the World Championships a year ago. “I’ve had a really hard time up until now,” he admitted. After the double retirement at the start of the season in Beaver Creek, he hadn’t gotten past 20th place in the two subsequent races. “I’m happy that it’s been a really good result again,” he said, visibly relieved.

Josef Ferstl strong – Andreas Sander far behind

Ferstl also felt satisfaction. In the past two years “there was always some crap,” he said. Sometimes an injury, sometimes problems with the material, sometimes your own despondency. What was different in Wengen? “I didn’t have anything on my mind,” said Ferstl, so he drove without pressure and instinctively “to attack”.

At the finish, he was 0.86 and Baumann 0.61 seconds behind Odermatt, who was celebrated by thousands of compatriots on the Lauberhorn in glorious weather – despite the horrendous corona numbers. “I’m in a super flow,” said Odermatt, who travels to China as a gold candidate in Super-G and giant slalom.

Not so Andreas Sander, who had to line up ten places behind Simon Jocher in 33rd place. The World Cup runner-up in the downhill once again drove far too despondent. He can do better on Friday and Saturday: Then there is a race each in the supreme discipline at the foot of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.


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