Alice Merryweather took the first place in the ladies’ downhill competition. Only an hour and a half thereafter, her American teammate Sam Morse did the same.

“This is world class”, says Morse when it was clear his run would be the fastest of the day.

The sunny weather of the previous days vanished overnight, with clouds bringing light snowfall before the ladies’ downhill on Wednesday. But the conditions were still “world class,” in the words of the winner of the men’s competition, American Sam Morse.

“I’ve been to four World Juniors and this is by far the most legit downhill I’ve run in the championships, so they did a really nice job putting this hill together,” says Morse.

It was a tight race where it was clear that a late start number wasn’t that big of a deal. Austrian Raphael Haaser proved this by finishing third with the start number 50. According to Morse, the race course was faster than during the training and a bit bumpy in the middle section.

“When the hill’s faster things stack up, they come at you a little faster, the jumps are bigger. You have to be more on your game, because if things go wrong they go wrong quick,” said Morse.

Italian Alexander Prast had a lead of 32 hundredths, while Morse, with bib 30, was 38 hundredths quicker down the hill – with a time that held until the very end. He’s about to enter the senior world of professional ski racing and the goal is clear.

“Hopefully I’ll be back for the championships in 2019, we’ll see.”

Just like in the ladies’ competition, the top ten men finished close together, with 94 hundredths between the winner Sam Morse and the tenth placed River Radamus, USA. Three Swedes made the top ten, coming 6th, 7th and 8th.

“It was a good race. I was hoping for the top ten but I didn’t expect it. I started as number 43 which means there are 42 athletes with a better ranking than me. The competition here is good,” says Sweden’s Filip Platter, who finished 6th.

Next on the schedule is the super-G, starting at 9.30 on Thursday, March 9.

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