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NIVELCO Ski Team in South Africa
Benjamin Szőllős has not been in his top form on the early races. Mostly he only managed to get one good run out of two. Finally in the last race he could proudly stand on the top of the podium. Benjamin also came really close to the Olympic qualification with two excellent results (31.10; 38.91). At the moment Benjamin and Barnabás are leading the FIS ranking of Hungarian U-21 in both main events (SL and GS), and they are getting closer to the Olympic level in more events.
Only after one resting day the valuable training finally began when the tournaments finished. The program included slalom training in six days divided into two workouts a day. All the conditions were optimal for the training thanks to our South African friends and in return they could train together with the NIVELCO Racing Team trained by Markus Erhardt professional coach.
Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games
A wonderful Youth Olympics had ended for Barnabas Szőllős the 17 years old racer of the NIVELCO Ski Team. After a very successful season of preparation and competition, Barnabas came to Norway with high expectations toward himself.
The season started very early for him, he already had more competitions in South America at the end of July where he finished every race in the top 10, and this way he has significantly improved his FIS points.
In October the preparation continued the usual way in the glacier areas and in the gym. His performance was great again in the tournaments at December and he could even improve the good points gained in Argentina! During he tried himself in speed events too, so at the end of January he was the best Hungarian racer in more events of the International Ski Federation list.
There was no doubt about his qualification to the II. Winter Youth Olympic Games. In his age group he is included in the top 30 in all the three events of the world ranking.
The Olympic program started with two days SG, GS and SL training. Here the competitors were running along and – by analysing the other competitors with Markus Erhardt professional trainer – it became more and more likely that Barnabas can achieve something remarkable. Barnabas carried out all the workouts confidently, disciplined and in elated mood, so we was very looking forward to the start of the first race.
The Olympics started at February 23 with the SG, unfortunately Barnabas pulled the highest 30 number. But ignoring the high number he started the 1570-meter track with full elan. When he finished he jumped ahead to the 15th position, only 1.76 seconds – which it was not more than 38 m (125 feet) – behind from the first. Later, a Swiss rider preceded him so he finished at 16th place. He couldn’t be unreservedly happy because he knew that he was 9th at the split time measurement in the upper section of the track. In the very next day the Alpine Combined started which consists of one run of SG and one run of slalom and perhaps one of the most difficult competition, because in the SG 212 cm (83.5 inches) skis are used and only after a short time the competitors have to switch to the smaller 165 cm (65 inches) slalom skis.
The SG competition was more technical, more precise cornering compared to the previous day races. Then a minor miracle happened, Barnabas Szőllős completed top third of the course in the third fastest split time! Unfortunately, this momentum couldn’t be carried through the complete course, because he fall out of the race after a minor error at the bottom half of the race.
There is no safety run at this level there is only one possible aspect to comply the maximum. Sometimes this brings added risks, but the most important thing is that Barnabas was not injured, so the next day he was able to concentrate on the GS training. He arrived in the training in great mood and excellent form; there was no trace of the previous day’s failure. A couple of rounds on the course fixing a few minor mistake and video analysis, it was just what he needed before the next day’s race.
February 17. the GS competition
Because the girls race was the day before we already knew what to expect in the 645 meters (0.4 mile) long track with 395 meters (1/4 mile) vertical drop and with nearly 60 gates on it. This level fitted exactly to the track used for the 1994 adult Olympics. It was incredibly difficult and long – the best time was 1 minute and 17 seconds – these tracks are used only in the World Cup or the Olympics. Barnabas can start the race with the number 19, it also means that he has been the 19th ranked competitor. In the first run he arrived to the finish line with a bigger mistake, so he had to wait for the second race in the 22th position.
In the second run the first thirty start in reverse order, so Barnabas can start the competition in the ninth position. He’s a real racer type a “cold-blooded killer”. As if nothing had happened in the first run, putting aside everything, he began with frenetic pace to the 57 gate. He had the best time in the finish, and led for a long time, finally with the best 11th time in this run he finished the race in the 14th place. Congratulations, interviews happiness… And a slalom race still left where anything could happen!
"Barnabas Szőllős the racer of NIVELCO Ski Team who getting better and better performance in the junior Olympics reached the best Hungarian results of Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer. First he reached the 16th position in super-G, and then he scored the 14th place in giant slalom. In this race day he excelled in the first slalom run: he finished in 11th position among the 62-strong field, that in itself an outstanding performance. In the second run he has become even more focused, he ski down the track even more drive, and due to this he came ahead to the 7th position.“Barnabas was fantastic. He was skiing with good technique and maximum concentration in both runs, which brought him the long-awaited success. The course was difficult and tricky, that is why many competitors have fallen out. I think that lots of hard work paid off now. Barnabas’s strength and stamina is improved a lot in recent months.” – said Péter Szőllős, Barnabas’s coach."
We have had the warmest winter of the century, but against all odds, excellent results were achieved at NIVELCO Ski Team.
Noa Szőllős can finally racing in the international field in her first year as an U14 competitor. Although she is among the youngest, she obtained great results in tournaments and finished in the top ten almost every race.
The first international FIS junior competition Trofeu Borrufa took place in Andorra at the end of January with the best skiers of more than thirty countries. The special thing on this event is that two speed races were held. Noa finished in 8th place with great racing and in second place among the 2003-born competitors. She won the seven race long regional cup series in Austria for the fourth time. During the year she experienced how to compete between the older ones, now in much more difficult slopes. Her technical knowledge significantly improved and by the end of the year she competed confidently in the international field with her new equipment. The first competition of the season closing was the international Kids Trophy held in Austria. Noa entered two competitions, where she could test her new ATOMIC equipment.
She was great in both races, in the ski cross race she finished in the sixth position, and in the GS she took tenth place. Then she reached eleventh place with great performance in the GS in the Italian Trofeo Pinocchio race, one of the most prestigious international contest of the season. This is the best international Hungarian result so far in this prestigious competition!
The hard training and competition in the South America have taken well-deserved results for the junior competitors of NIVELCO Ski Team. It was the highlight of the season when the Hungarian Championships adult GS race was won in double with hundreds of seconds equal time! They both returned home with two-two championship titles. The Junior World Ski Championship this year held in Sochi, the exotic ski slopes of the Russian Rosa Khutor. Unfortunately it has been memorable because of the great warmth and tropical rains.
Both boys managed to finish in the first half of the competitors, meeting the previous expectations. Barnabas could stand in the third place of the podium among the best U18 riders.
The world championship was followed by a longer spring tournament series. Barnabas and Benjamin went neck and neck in improving their FIS points and repeatedly stand on the podium. Closing the season they’re tested themselves in speed races too, so they attended the first downhill race of their lives in the Austrian championship with several world cup racers.
Benjamin was better in the training session; he finished at 42th while Barnabas took the 45th place among the 58 mostly Austrian competitors.
Benjamin finished at 35th place at his first DH race which brought him a huge success. His dreams come true by reaching of the Olympic quota worth 80 points. With his 64.89 points results he achieved the best Hungarian man results. After a great part-time the bend of Barnabas’s ski came loose in a strong corner and he fell out of the race, but he could improve in the next race right after where he acquired the outstanding 32th result. So he could sign up to the downhill racers with 94.44 points.
The next day programs were SG and Alpine Combined sessions where Barnabas could further increase his lead. He achieved in 34th place in SG, and with an excellent slalom result he finished in the 23th. With the achieved 77.01 score he signed up to the Alpine Combined ranking. Benjamin finished at 37th at the SG race and thus greatly improved his FIS points.
All in all we can say that both boys performed very well in Austria. They demonstrated that they’re among the best in the Hungarian team not only in slalom and giant, but also in the speed disciplines.