Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Janka surges to super-combined victory at home

AP , WENGEN, SWITZERLAND

Carlo Janka of Switzerland speeds down the slope to win the men’s Ski World Cup super-combined slalom portion in Wengen, Switzerland, on Friday.

PHOTO: EPA

Carlo Janka of Switzerland won a World Cup super-combined event on Friday for his second victory in a breakout season.

The 22-year-old Janka timed 47.01 seconds in the afternoon slalom for a combined 2 minutes, 34.16 seconds following the morning downhill. Peter Fill of Italy was second, 0.22 seconds behind.

Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland trailed by 0.40 in third.

Bode Miller skied out in the bottom half of his slalom run while leading on his split time. The 31-year-old American was sixth after the downhill.

Janka got his first victory in a giant slalom last month at Val D’Isere, France.

He was also runner-up behind Fill in the season-opening downhill at Lake Louise, Canada.

“My second place in Lake Louise started something,” Janka said through an interpreter. “I started skiing well in all disciplines. I just hope I can keep it going.”

Janka rose to fifth in the overall standings with 466 points, despite not competing in slalom events.

Overall leader Benjamin Raich of Austria placed seventh and ­extended his advantage over Jean-Baptiste Grange with 593 points to 536. Grange, last year’s super-combi winner in Wengen, placed ninth on Friday.

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway is third overall, 91 behind Raich, after finishing eighth.

Janka was second after the morning downhill on a shortened Lauberhorn course — set at 3.09km compared with the full 4.5km distance — despite skiing at the famed slope for only the third time.

“I had nothing to lose in the slalom,” Janka said. “I was going to go all-out. I felt relaxed at the start and the fans carried me down to the finish.”

Fill, a downhill specialist, said that the result gave him confidence for yesterday’s classic Lauberhorn race.

“I seem to always do well and have a little luck here,” the 26-year-old Italian said. “The first time I came here I knew it was a course for me.”

Miller is also regarded as a Wengen specialist, and recovered from a big mistake on his slalom run to lead by 0.21 at the halfway mark.

But his right ski slid away from him down the hill after a left-hand gate and he could not recover. He did not speak with reporters at the finish area.

The 31-year-old overall World Cup champion is now without a win after 18 events this season. He is 11th in the overall standings with 305 points.

Miller showed his determination to do well this weekend by hiring a helicopter on Thursday morning to take extra slalom practice in the next valley. He flew to Veysonnaz in the Swiss Valais region to find a slope closely resembling the slalom course at Wengen.

Miller was to line up as one of the favorites for yesterday’s downhill, after winning ahead of Switzerland’s Didier Cuche in Wengen the past two years.

The Wengen meet concludes with a two-run slalom today.

■SKI JUMPING


AP, ZAKOPANE, POLAND

Wolfgang Loitzl of Austria won a ski jumping World Cup event on Friday to claim his fourth victory of the season.

Loitzl, who captured the Four Hills title this month, had jumps of 129.5m and 132m for a total of 272.7 points. Countryman Gregor Schlierenzauer took second, 10.2 points behind, while Germany’s Martin Schmitt was third, 23.3 points back.

Simon Amman of Switzerland finished fifth, but retained his overall lead in the World Cup standings with 1,062 points. Schlierenzauer is second with 1,020, followed by Loitzl with 901 points.

This story has been viewed 1368 times.
TOP top