Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ligety claims second gold of FIS Worlds

Photo by Mitchell Gunn/ESPA Julia Mancuso of Team USA at the awards ceremony for the Alpine FIS Ski World Championships super giant slalom Feb. 5 at Schladming, Austria. She placed third for the bronze medal, followed by fifth place in Sunday’s women’s downhill.

U.S. Ski Team technical ace Ted Ligety, 28, of Park City, Utah was golden again Monday at Schladming, Austria.

He won the men’s super combined for his second title at the 2013 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships. Sixth after the downhill, Ligety nailed the second fastest slalom run to take his second world gold medal in five days.

Ligety, who won the men’s super giant slalom Wednesday, earned his fourth world championship medal and third gold.

He said after the downhill, “I was charging the whole way and kept it clean, so I’m pretty happy to be only seven tenths back. I’m in a good position. I'd like to have more time on Ivica and Benni, but I feel like I’m in a place where I can easily take those downhill guys if I have a good run. It’s going to be those slalom guys who are going to challenge.”

In the single-run slalom Ligety logged the second-fastest heat, after slalom winner Alexis Pinturault of France. The result gave Ligety (2:56.96 total time) a 1.15-second victory over silver medalist Ivica Kostelic of Croatia. The bronze went to Romed Baumann of Austria.

Said Ligety before Monday’s night slalom, “It’s a good slalom hill for the more slalom specialized guys. This is going to be a tall task for those downhill guys who don’t normally ski slalom.”

Here is the remaining world schedule:

Feb. 12, Nations Team Event.

Feb. 14, women’s giant slalom.

Feb. 15, men’s giant slalom.

Feb. 16, women’s slalom.

Feb. 17, men’s slalom.


Close to the podium in downhill

Before over 25,000 spectators, the Americans narrowly missed the medals Sunday in the women's downhill at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships. Julia Mancuso, 28, of Squaw Valley, Ca. was a .15 out of the prizes in fifth with Stacey Cook of Mammoth Mountain, Ca. sixth.

In an aggressive race that saw higher speeds than training, the twisty turny Schladming S turn midway down the course took its toll on the USA as France's Marion Rolland took the surprise gold. Both Mancuso and Cook were dominating their runs up to the midway point where a series of turns through the Schladming S took their toll.

Mancuso said, “It was really difficult with fast snow. You had to be 100% on it to do well. It was bumpy and fast but it was a lot of fun. It was hard to feel perfect, you just had to charge hard. It was close to being on the podium. I felt pretty solid on the course—didn’t feel like I would crash. When you're at World Championships you're charging hard.”

Coach Chip White added, “This team is always striving for podiums right now. The girls are disappointed. I personally am very proud of them for the job they’ve done to get to this point and they still are the best downhill team in the world.

“All the cards didn’t fall the way we wanted them to. I’m proud of every single one of these ladies. They’re strong, they’re fit, they’re competitive, we’re still contenders for a globe in downhill and we have a lot of season left.”

Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) was 22nd and teammate Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) 25th to lead the USA in a rugged downhill at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming. Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal took a dominant win over Italy's Dominik Paris while France's David Poisson won bronze.

Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal mastered the bumps to claim his fifth World Championship gold medal. Kitzbuehel winner Dominik Paris of Italy won silver with France's David Poisson in bronze.

Weibrecht said, “There was definitely more chop today. The snow started out pretty soft and got harder as the week went on. It was one of the rougher courses we've skied. Today was particularly tough because it was overcast and flat light—definitely tricky conditions and really hard to see the bumps.

Friday, despite a significant mistake in the downhill portion of the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships super combined, super G bronze medalist Mancuso clicked with her best slalom performance of the season to finish eighth. Laurenne Ross of Bend, Ore. was 11th and Stacey Cook 18th.

Olympic super combined gold medalist Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany captured gold, with Slovenia's Tina Maze silver and Austrian Nicole Hosp bronze.

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