By Yuri Karpenko
In Italian Bormio, Maria outstripped her nearest rival, Federica Sosio of Italy, by almost four points. In the giant slalom, the Belarusian athlete came third, behind Janine Wikky of Switzerland and Federica Sosio of Italy.
This was the first victory for a Belarusian mountain skier at the tournament in Bormio, which is held at the beginning of each season, gathering athletes preparing for the European Cup starts. It is inspiring that Maria Shkanova stood out from the crowd of 90 athletes, representing famous mountain skiing countries such as Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and other Alp states. This season, Shkanova is to perform in the European Cup rounds (besides FIS tournaments); in February, she’ll go to Germany’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen, for the World Championship.
The European Cup is the second most important event after the elite World Cup, requiring a long path of dedication and hard work. It gathers the most talented junior skiers and those striving to reach the core line-up of their squads, ready for the World Cup. Maria Shkanova’s target is to win a place at the World Cup draw; meanwhile, she’ll do her best to prove herself at the European Cup.