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20 February 2013

Podium News - 20 February 2013

Our weekly round-up of what's going on in racing and competitions around the world

Ted Ligety
Ted Ligety (USA) picked up three gold medals at the World Championships in Schladming.

Alpine Racing

The 42nd FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming concluded on 17 February, with Austrian Marcel Hirscher claiming a coveted Slalom gold in front of a huge home crowd. But it was America Ted Ligety who walked away from Schladming and into the history books, picking up the title of World Champion in Super G, Combined and Giant Slalom. His achievement now places him amongst the legends of skiing, including Toni Sailer, Jean-Claude Killy, Emile Allais and Stein Eriksen.

The day before Ligety's historic win, on 14 February, French skier Tessa Worley put on a commanding performance to take gold in the Women's Giant Slalom, and add to the tally of medals taken by the strong French team in these championships. The rising star of the US ski team, Mikaela Shiffrin, took top spot in the Women's Slalom on Saturday. The 17-year old claimed a gold that made the USA the most successful country in the World Championships, despite the absence of Lindsey Vonn following her season-ending crash on the opening day of competition.

Halfpipe in Sochi
Conditions were difficult for competitors in the Sochi halfpipe test event.

Freestyle

FIS Freestyle World Cup events have faced challenging conditions in Sochi, where test events are taking place ahead of the next Winter Olympics. 

Rain followed by heavy snow on Saturday created a difficult environment for top halfpipe skiers, with Swiss veteran Virginie Faivre showing her experience in winning the women's event. On the men's side, there were a few mistakes, but the top athletes still landed incredible high-amplitude runs - none more than American skiers Torin Yater-Wallace and Gus Kenworthy, who took the lead off Canadian Mike Riddle. There was good news for the GB Freeski too, with Murray Buchan finishing in 18th place.

The weather had been an issue on Friday 15 February too, though familiar faces triumphed in the Freestyle Moguls event. Hannah Kearney (USA) and Mikael Kingsbury (Canada) showed they are still the athletes to beat, leading the overall World Cup standings too.

Ski Cross and Snowboardcross

On Tuesday 19 February qualifications were followed by finals on the future Olympic course  in a World Cup Ski Cross event. Canadian Kelsey Serwa finished first after progressing through the women's knock-out rounds, while Britain's Emily Sarsfield picked up further WC points and Olympic qualification with her 21st placing.

The fourth FIS Snowboardcross World Cup of the season took place on the dual-purpose course at Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort on Sunday. Michela Moioli of Italy and Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria won the Women's and Men's events, respectively. British Olympic hopeful Zoe Gillings qualified for the Small Final and eventually finished in 11th.


Freeride

The inaugural European installment of the Swatch Skiers Cup came to a close in Zermatt with the Backcountry Slopestyle element of the Ryder-cup format event. Skiers were once again treated to incredible snow conditions on a feature-packed venue, and after the snow had settled, Team Europe emerged victorious.

You can watch some of the highlights in the video below.

 

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