Grass ski World Championships in Burgenland

The FIS Grass-Skiing Junior World Championships opens up in Burgenland from 31 July to 4 August.

Beating off stiff competition, the ski-centre in Rettenbach impressed a panel of judges from the International Ski Federation (FIS) enough to host the World Championships in their small village of 350 people.

Johann Gschwandtner of the organising committee said: “This is the third Championship that we’ve hosted in Rettenbach in nine years.

“We had some competition, including from Japan, but we managed to bring the World Championships to Austria.”

Hanspeter Brandl of the FIS said: “The slope conditions in Rettenbach are the best we have on the grass-ski world cup circuit.”

The director of the Burgenland ski association Gerald Guttmann said: “If the Junior World Cup is not an absolute highlight for a small association like the Burgenland ski association – then what is it?

“We have a media hook and great athletes that can showcase their skills. As the Burgenland region and the Burgenland ski association, you can’t wish for more.”

The grass-ski World Championships is an important event even outside the small village of Rettenbach. The mayor of Bernstein Renate Habetler said: “One cannot imagine the dimension and special character of this. It has to sink into people’s heads.”

Around 50 athletes from 12 nations will compete in Rettenbach, where some 6,000 spectators are expected. The opening ceremony will take place on 31 July and the final medal ceremony will be held on August, 4.