The German team won the first medal on the first day of the World Para Snowsports Championships. Biathlon specialist Anja Wicker surprisingly won bronze in cross-country skiing in the sitting class over 7.5 kilometers. The 30-year-old from Stuttgart was 2:01.7 minutes behind the dominating American Kendall Gretsch and, after four world championship medals in biathlon, secured her first medal in para cross-country skiing.
The only 17-year-old Merle Menje, who came fourth twice in the summer with the racing wheelchair at the Summer Games in Tokyo, came ninth in the same race at her World Championship premiere in the snow. Biathlon Paralympic champion Martin Fleig was tenth in his secondary cross-country skiing discipline over the 10 km. The visually impaired Linn Kazmaier finished ninth in the 10K on her international debut aged 15.
The downhills of the Alpine with medal candidate Anna-Lena Forster fell victim to the high temperatures of up to eleven degrees on Thursday morning, but should be made up for on Friday after the announced cold snap.
In Lillehammer, joint world championships in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon and snowboarding will be held for the first time until January 23rd. The title fights were supposed to take place in February 2021, but had been postponed by a year due to the corona crisis. Now they are considered a major endurance test and one of the few opportunities to qualify for the Paralympic Games in Beijing (March 4th to 13th).