The Brienz skier surprised in training for the two descents with rank 20 and got a starting place. On Friday she will contest her first race at the top level.
At a comparatively old age, a dream comes true. About two months before her 24th birthday, Katja Grossmann has her first World Cup appearance. The B-squad driver from Brienz is allowed to contest at least the first of the two downhill runs in Val di Fassa, Italy. She earned this with a remarkable performance in the second and final training session.
The Bernese Oberland woman with the high starting number 41 drove in 20th place. She lost just 1.57 seconds to the fastest time of the American Breezy Johnson. World champion Corinne Suter (10th) is only six tenths behind.
Grossmann has been considered a talent for some time; In 2017 she became vice junior world champion in the downhill. Again and again she was thrown back by injuries, most recently she missed several seasons in a row. Now she seems to be realizing the breakthrough after all. At the beginning of December she became Swiss champion in combination. And at the beginning of this month, she was ranked 8th in a downhill European Cup.
Count among the fastest
The other Bernese Oberland woman was even better in the final training with Joana Hählen. She finished ninth and was just as convincing as the day before when she was also among the fastest.
The Simmental is particularly motivated after not being considered for the World Cup. In Val di Fassa, she could save a difficult season so far. There are three races on the program in the Dolomites from Friday: First two downhill runs will be held, followed by the Super-G on Sunday, for which Hehlen, but not Grossmann, is available.