VERBIER 2015 - Seventh day. Italy won the Relay

The World Championships have finished with a bang. The Italians dominated the relay. The Swiss men took bronze. The women picked up another silver medal.

In Champsec, for the final events of the World Ski Mountaineering Championships, the relay began with a dramatic turn of events. In the juniors, the Swiss were eliminated several minutes into the race. The first runner, Marianne Fatton, missed a gate, but still passed the baton onto her team-­‐mate Julien  Ançay.  The  judges  stopped  the  3rd  team  member,  Arnaud  Gasser,  from  starting. The young Swiss were out of the race. Medal hopes dissolved. Italy took gold, beating France and Spain.

Silver women
During the second race of the day, the Swiss ladies were first off the post thanks to Séverine Pont Combe. The Vaudoise executed the perfect race. She managed to keep her lead before giving the baton to Maude Mathys. The French were next to hand over. The final athlete for the French was none other than three times World Champion Laetitia Roux. She started 27 seconds after the Swiss team. She gained on them second by second, and at the last gate she finally overtook. From then on, the game was over. France beat Switzerland by 8 seconds and Spain took  bronze.  This  brought Jennifer Fiechter her 4th silver medal. She commented : « We gave everything. But Laetitia Roux is very, very strong. In the change-­‐overs, she’s even faster than a lot of the men. I speak for Maude and Séverine as well when I say we’re very pleased with our result. »

Men in bronze
The men’s relay was the final race of these World Championships. It was between France, Italy and Switzerland. Even with Kilian Jornet, Spain had  little  chance  of  picking  up  a  medal.  The  Austrians were surprisingly quick off the starting line. France’s William Bon Mardion set a hellish rhythm from the first change-­‐over. The Frenchman was first past the finishing line and handed the baton to team-­‐ mate Alexis Sévennec. Switzerland’s Yannick Ecoeur, in 5th place at the time, came in less  than 20 seconds after the Frenchman. He passed the baton to Martin Anthamatten. The Haut-­‐Valaisan gave it all he had before handing over to his friend, Marcel Marti. Italy were back in the race thanks to their third  runner,  Michele  Boscacci.  From  then  on,  France’s  Didier  Blanc,  Italy’s  Robert  Antonioli  and Switzerland’s Marcel Marti found themselves neck and neck. World sprint champion, Italian Robert Antonioli was chasing Didier Blanc. The Frenchman lost several metres in the final carry. He couldn’t catch up with the Italian. Switzerland’s Marcel Marti fought to the end in an attempt to grab silver, without success. In the end, Italy beat France and Switzerland came third. So much suspense!
« We gave everything we had, » confided Martin Anthamatten. « In 2013 we won the race on the finishing line. This year, we’ve finished 3rd. We’re still happy with this medal. »

The Swiss Team finished the World Championships without a single medal in the elites or the espoirs.
Rémi Bonnet’s two junior titles, Marianne Fatton’s in the junior girls and Arno Lietha’s for the cadets saved the day.

Statement from Pierre-­‐Marie Taramarcaz, technical director
«I only have good things to say. We’ve had great weather. All the races have gone well. There have been no serious injuries. » He continued : « The public have been very supportive. We will take away many great memories. The organising committee, headed by our president Gaston Barben,  have worked extremely hard. From my point of view, I’ve been able to rely on a great team of motivated volunteers. All this positive energy has enabled us to do a great job.»

All race results are online on ISMF website
Nation ranking on
Combined ranking on

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