Finnish juggernaut Mirko Lahti completed a perfect season by taking an historic fourth win in a row at the Ice Cross Downhill Junior World Championship on Friday to cement first place in the overall standings. On a cold Canadian night, Lukasz Korzestanski of Poland took second on the difficult track while Joni Saarinen of Finland finished in third place in the high-speed competition for the world's best 16 to 21 year olds.
Lahti, who has emerged as the brightest talent of his generation after winning the last three Junior World Championship races in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Jyvaskyla, Finland, and Marseille, France jumped into the lead at the start of the ice track overlooking the frozen waters of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. He proved to be once again unbeatable down the 455-meter long ice track with its 40-meter vertical drop.
"It's my last race. It's amazing," said Lahti, who will be moving out of the Junior World Championships and racing only in the men's championship next season. He relished the final Junior victory in the finish area in front of a packed crowd.
Lahti also won the first Junior World Championship, which was created last year to introduce more young athletes to the world's fastest sport on skates, winning three of the four races. This year he outdid himself by putting his indelible stamp on the championship on the last stop in the four-race season – at Edmonton, Canada. He won the championship with 2,000 points while Richie 'Jo Jo' Velasquez of the USA finished second overall with 1,600 points. Poland's Lukasz Korzestanski completes the overall podium with 1,400 points.
In Ice Cross Downhill, athletes race down the obstacle-filled ice track four-at-a-time at speeds of up to 80 km/h. The first two advance to the next round as the field is whittled down to a final four in the extreme test of stamina, conditioning and exposure to the elements.
In the freestyle competition, Steven Cox of Canada took top honors after pulling off the best tricks.
Final Results: 1. Mirko Lahti (FIN), 2. Lukasz Korzestanski (POL), 3. Joni Saarinen (FIN), 4. Luca Engler (GER), 5. Filipe Carvalheiro (SUI), 6. Jesse Sauren (FIN), 7. Max Nymark (FIN), 8. Alex Schreifels (USA), 9. Maxim Krokhin (SWE), 10. Francis Boudreau (CAN).
Overall Standings: 1.Mirko Lahti (FIN), 2. Richie Jo Jo Velasquez (USA), 3. Lukasz Korzestanski (POL), 4. Jesse Sauren (FIN), 5. Joni Saarinen (FIN), 6. Dmitry Murlychkin (RUS), 7. Eric Miauton (SUI), 8. Filipe Carvalheiro (SUI), 9. Luca Engler (GER), 10. Max Nymark (FIN).
Watch the Men's and Women's Finals Live
Red Bull Crashed Ice Edmonton will broadcast LIVE on redbullcrashedice.com and Red Bull TV on March 10 at 8 PM local time (3 AM GMT).
It will also be live-streamed at cbcsports.ca from 8:00 p.m. MST, and will also be available on CBC on March 10, immediately following Hockey Night in Canada at approximately 10:45 p.m. MST. CBC Sports' Kelly VanderBeek will host coverage of the event alongside reporter Jacqueline Doorey, who will provide on-the-ground coverage from the venue including post-race interviews from the mixed zone. Calling the event are Red Bull's play-by-play commentators Troy Manering and Reed Whiting.
French-speaking fans can tune in to TVA Sports for a LIVE broadcast at 8:00pm MST.
Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit about.redbull.tv.
If you miss the event or simply want to watch all the action again, the replay will be available on demand a few minutes after the event.