Yuzhen Lamu grabs historic gold for China at ISMF World Championships
Published: Mar 01, 2023 07:53 PM Updated: Mar 01, 2023 07:48 PM
Yuzhen Lamu (middle) Photo: screenshot from onlin

Yuzhen Lamu (middle) Photo: screenshot from onlin

Yuzhen Lamu became the first Chinese ski mountaineering world champion after claiming a historic gold at the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) World Championships on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old dominated the U20 women's sprint category with straight wins in qualification, semifinal and final rounds, clocking a winning time of three minutes and 31 seconds.

Her teammate Suolang Quzhen settled for fourth position. Suolang Quzhen also ranked fourth at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

Ordonez Maria of Spain and Deseyn Thibe of Switzerland joined Yuzhen on the podium, with times of two and three seconds behind respectively.

China's rising star Cidan Yuzhen, who had won two golds at the Youth World Cup at Crevacol, Italy, failed to keep her momentum in the U18 women's sprint category.

The 17-year-old had to settle for sixth place after she crossed the finish line nearly a minute behind Selles Laia, who won the gold in front of her home fans in three minutes and 40 seconds.

The first competition day saw another 15 Chinese skiers perform in sprint events, with Ji Lulu taking seventh position in the women's U23 category, and Bu Luer ranking 10th in the men's U18.

During the World Championships, the Chinese team's 20 athletes included veterans such as Asian champions Jin Yubo and Xin Detao, as well as rising stars such as Suolang Quzhen, Cidan Yuzhen, and this time's world champion Yuzhen Lamu.

Ski mountaineering is a new sport that was added to the slate for the 2026 Milan Cortina Winter Olympics. Gold medals will be up for grabs in three events: the men's and women's sprints events, and a mixed relay event.

The sport has been popular in Europe and the US since the 1950s, and was an official sport in the four Winter Olympics in 1924, 1928, 1936 and 1948.

In 2004, China sent its first delegation to Europe to learn about this new ski sport. Since 2007, the country has carried out a series of international competitions hoping to promote this special sport across the country.

China's first ski mountaineering national team was established in November 2017.

Global Times - Xinhua