Thick Fog Menacing Women’s Giant Slalom in Jasna

American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin during practice on a foggy giant slalom piste in Jasna. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, Jasna 4 (TASR) – Thick fog at Jasna ski resort in Low Tatras, hosting the women’s World Cup this coming weekend, on Friday appeared to jeopardise Saturday’s giant slalom, with FIS officials considering postponing it to Monday.

Meanwhile, the slalom is too attractive both in terms of audience and marketing that it has remained set for Sunday.

In the end it was decided Friday that a final decision whether the giant slalom will take place as originally scheduled or on Monday will be made on Saturday. Meanwhile, consideration has been given to shortening the track for giant slalom – with the start in this case to be relocated down the piste.

At the moment, the start is set for an altitude of 1,650 metres above the sea level, while the track is 1,224 metres long, with a vertical drop of 400 metres. The so-called ‘Jednotka’ or Number One track has been selected as the venue for the giant slalom. This same course leading from Lukova to the legendary Koliesko saw a stunning 4-second margin victory of charismatic Swede Ingemar Stenmark at Demanovske Caves Grand Prix – the first World Cup race at Jasna in 1979.

Of course, Sunday’s slalom – with two Slovak elite skiers Veronika Velez-Zuzulova and Petra Vlhova – is the most eagerly awaited feature of the World Cup weekend. The start is placed in the altitude of 1,450 metres, with the track length of 601 metres and vertical drop of 200 metres. Even though the start is located far lower than in Aspen, for example, it’s still higher than in some traditional Austrian resorts.

When it comes to degree of difficulty and profile, the track certainly shouldn’t fall behind Flachau (Austria), which in January saw two victories by Velez-Zuzulova, and perhaps not even behind Aare (Sweden) – the venue of Vlhova’s first career World Cup triumph in December.

“The track in Jasna appears rather easy, but it’s tricky in fact. It’s long and certainly it isn’t one of the easiest in the World Cup circuit,” noted Velez-Zuzulova at a press conference on Thursday.