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It's still tough this winter – Austrian downhill skiers finally want to get on the podium in Streif – Sports

It's still tough this winter – Austrian downhill skiers finally want to get on the podium in Streif – Sports


Austrian downhill skiers are still without top three results this season. They are acting calm before the races in Kitzbühel.

Austria witnessed large protests after the short landing in the Lauberhorn on Thursday. Otmar Striedinger was ranked 8th best athlete in ÖSV. In doing so, the Austrian downhill skiers achieved something new: never before in the entire 57-year history of the Ski World Cup had the Austrian men remained short of the podium in the first four downhill runs of the season.

Two days later the negative streak extended. Even in the original downhill course, no Austrian managed to make the top three in the Wengen, and Vincent Krechmeier finished fifth, the best of only four starters in the ÖSV.

The Austrians don't want to hear about pressure

The omens ahead of Hahnenkamm's two home runs could be better. After all: in the last six years, the Austrians have never left Kitzbühel without a podium finish. Last year, Krechmeier won the first two races. It was one of four wins for the 32-year-old in the winter of 2022/23.

However, the pressure on the Austrians in Tyrol was greater than in other years. Daniel Hemmitzberger, who has never been better than 20th in the slopes this season, doesn't want to know anything about it: “This series is not a problem for me. We are not skiing well enough at the moment. We have to drive better and faster “If we succeed, we will return to the podium.”

“Not having a podium place is more of a problem for the experts than for us,” says Otmar Stridinger, who finished eighth and twelfth on the Wengen downhill. “The ratings were expected to be high after the start of the season.” The 20-year-old veteran knows this. 32 years is the recipe needed to quickly reach one of the top three positions. “We have to advance faster than the Swiss,” he says, laughing.

If you look at them Considering the results of Streif's final training, this shouldn't actually be a problem. In the end, no less than four Austrians were ahead of the fastest Swiss Stefan Roggentin (15th place). But – and Austrian drivers know this – training and racing are two different things.