The floodlights at today’s slalom spectacle on the Planai should electrify Austria’s aces. Manuel Feller and Co. want to show their “true potential”. “We Austrians fight back in Schladming,” trumpeted Marco Schwarz.
This slalom team can do much, much more than they have shown so far this season! Last but not least, Austria’s technical head coach Martin Kroisleitner knows this. “It hurts that the true potential of the team is not yet on paper. But I’m confident that we’ll be able to do that in the near future.” Preferably today (5:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m./live in the sportkrone.at ticker) in Schladming. There is no shortage of hot irons … For Manuel Feller, the sporting lifelong dream of winning Kitzbühel was brutally shattered on Sunday. A round of bucks with the family (“I lost that too”) and a glass of wine helped with digestion. Lots of uplifting messages were also good. “But I don’t have to feel sorry for anyone. I’m allowed to practice my dream job, and that includes threaders. The shape is right, that’s important.” As a late riser, Feller comes up against a night slalom. The one a year ago in Schladming was one of the craziest races in Feller’s career. He jumped straight out of the corona quarantine as the 28th at halftime. still on the podium – third place. Marco Schwarz was the last Austrian to win the “Nightrace” in 2021. “Unfortunately there were no spectators at the time because of Corona. It would be cool if I could do that in front of the fans.” In Kitz, the Carinthian made a little mistake with the material (“too aggressive”), and lessons were learned. Schwarz knows that our extremely strong slalom team has been beaten so far this winter and promises the fans: “We Austrians will fight back in Schladming!” Double Olympic champion Johannes Strolz conceded the next failure in Kitz. “Bitter. But when I think back a year and a half, it was about my sporting survival, every race could have been my last. In this respect, the pressure I’m currently feeling isn’t really that bad.” The Vorarlberg native will need exactly this kind of relaxation: “Remain calm and keep everything as simple as possible.” Vice World Champion Adrian Pertl was the best Austrian in Kitz (ninth place), only three tenths were missing on the podium. “Even though there were only two solid runs.” In Schladming, the Carinthian would like to take a little more risk. “I now have some OK results in my pocket, now I’ll attack more.” After tenth place on the Ganslernhang, Fabio Gstrein now wants to do better on the Planai. “Everyone in the team knows that we can be even faster. But the others aren’t nose picks either!” says the Ötztaler. Michael Matt doesn’t have his jigsaw puzzle together perfectly yet. “But it’s getting better and better, in some sections I’m really fast again!”