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Hope for Austria in Nordic Ski World Championships

The 49th Nordic Ski World Championships in Val di Fiemme (Italy) will start today (Wed). Ski runners from Salzburg such as Katerina Smutna, Bernhard Tritscher and Teresa Stadlober are Austria’s big hope.

The first race on Thursday will be the cross-country sprint for ladies and men (qualification at 10.45, finals at 12.45).

Katerina Smutna (HSV Saalfelden), who has come fifth in the World cup in Davos, will run in her preferred classic technique. Other Austrian participants in the race will be Kerstin Muschet, Max Hauke and Aurelius Herburger.

Ms Smutna is originally from the Czech Republic but moved to Saalfelden (Salzburg) and lives now in St. Ulrich/Pillersee in the district of Kitzbühel (Tyrol). She is, however, still a member of HSV Saalfelden.

"I have been in the finals a couple of times in the World cup, and this is also my goal now. The Top three will be far ahead but anything can happen in a race", said Ms Smutna, who is apparently in excellent form.

The team Bernhard Tritscher/Harald Wurm has chances to be among the Top Ten in Team Sprint (Skating) on Sunday.

Alexander Marent, the coach responsible for the ladies, did not talk about rankings, although he has high expectations. For the first time in 24 years, a Ladies relay from Austria is taking part in the Nordic Ski World Championships.

Mr Marent is optimistic about the World Championships debutant Teresa Stadlober from Radstadt (Salzburg): "If everything is going well like in Liberec, anything is possible", he said.

Ms Stadlober, who is the daughter of the former relay champion Alois Stadlober, will participate in the Skiathlon (7.5 km classic/7.5 km skating) on Saturday.

"I want to do well in the races so that I am pleased with myself", the 20-year-old said. She is aiming at a place around 30th.

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