SKYRUNNING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2021 YOUTH: SPAIN FAVORITE FOR MEDALS AT GRAN SASSO 30th JULY.
SKYRUNNING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2021 YOUTH: Gran Sasso (30JUL). The stage is set. It’s curtains up, lights, camera, action, plenty of action, forecast at next weekend’s 2021 Youth Skyrunning World Championships where today’s young athletes and future stars of the sport will compete from July 30 to August 1 in L’Aquila, near Rome, Italy.
For the first time, after the 2020 cancellation, the fifth edition of the Championships will be open to 15-year-olds, a decision made at the 2019 General Assembly.
Despite their young age and lack of experience, their enthusiasm is sky-high. This year, 133 athletes from 19 countries are ready to do battle on the international stage in the VERTICAL and SKY disciplines and for the COMBINED title.
A total of 54 medals are at stake, distributed across three age group categories: Youth A (15-17), Youth B (18-20) and U23 (21-23). Individual medals will be awarded to the winners of each event.
Teams from near and far are converging on Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in the Apennines, which will host the Championships for the fourth time. They are: Andorra, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.
“A small but diverse group of American skyrunners are ready to face the elements at Gran Sasso. We are from the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Wasatch mountains of Utah, the Sierras of California, the Cascades of Washington, the Chugiaks of Alaska… We’re looking forward to seeing our old friends and making new ones,” is the heartfelt message from US Skyrunning, represented by John and Ryan Kerrigan attending the Championships for the fourth time with their team.
Dai Matsumoto, President of the Japan Skyrunning Association, stated, “We are in the middle of the Tokyo Olympics, but we’re looking forward to your support for the Japan youth team – ready to challenge the Italian sky!”
Spain is of course the favourite for the medal count. In 2019 they secured the gold for the fourth consecutive time. Team manager and ISF VP, Rogelio Macías, commented, “The FEDME team will attend with great enthusiasm like every year. We have a new team with very young athletes who are facing their first international experience,” like 15-year-old Gabriela Lasalle who will be competing. “The team also combines the experience of athletes who know the course very well and will show an example. Every year the level is increasing and I’m sure that new young skyrunners will give us a great show!”
For some, especially a 15-year-old, the experience of racing on the international stage will certainly be new, even a little daunting. Italy’s Lorenzo Milesi celebrated his 15th birthday just ten days ago. “It’s going to be challenging,” he said, “and I don’t want to let down those that brought me this far. For sure, it will be a great experience to test myself against athletes from other nations. I’m aiming to run both races – if I can find the strength on Sunday…!” An ambitious start. A potential new champion?
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