The FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships Åre 2017 kicked off for real when the ladies’ downhill began Wednesday morning. It was a tight fight with Alice Merryweather, USA, taking first place, only two-hundredths ahead of Switzerland’s Katja Grossman.

The ladies’ downhill race launched the competitions in the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships 2017 after two days of downhill training. The sunny weather of previous days had vanished, but conditions were still really good.

“The snow is perfect and the light was actually good. I was a little concerned because it’s cloudy today but it was still totally fine and I couldn’t have asked for better conditions,” said the winner Alice Merryweather, USA.

Katja Grossman, Switzerland, starting with the bib number eight, recorded what seemed to be a winning time, 41 hundredths ahead of the runner-up, Kira Weidle of Germany. But Alice Merryweather truly hit her line and finished two hundredths before Grossman.

“It went very well. I think I haven’t been super aggressive in the training runs and I finally turned it up a notch for today,” Merryweather said.

This year’s championships in Åre will be Merryweather’s last as a junior.

“I’ve dreamed of this, this is my fourth Juniors and I’ve seen the girls get up onto the podium and I’ve always wanted to be there – to achieve that is so cool.”

The race in the top 10 was tight. There was a difference of only 12 hundredths between third placed Kira Weidle and Sweden’s Lisa Hörnblad who finished fourth. Norwegian Kristin Lysdahl finished in tenth place, 91 hundredths behind Merryweather.

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