Mon, Jan 09, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Marcel Hirscher first to claim Adelboden double

Reuters, ADELBODEN, SWITZERLAND

Marcel Hirscher of Austria became the first skier to win both races in the classic Adelboden weekend with his slalom victory at the Swiss resort yesterday.

The 22-year-old clocked a combined time of 1 minute, 58.66 seconds to snatch his third World Cup victory in succession and emerge as one of the clear favorites for the overall crystal globe.

Despite a thick fog and almost no visibility, Hirscher beat World Cup defending champion Ivica Kostelic by 0.27 seconds to bag his fifth success this winter.

In the overall standings, the Austrian, who also won Saturday’s giant slalom, leads the Croat by 230 points.

“It’s just crazy. I’m on a roll for sure with three victories in four days”, said Hirscher, who also won a slalom in Zagreb on Thursday. “But I’m also extremely tired and I’m glad to have some time off before the slalom in Wengen.”

Promising Stefano Gross of Italy clinched his first career podium in third place, 0.99 seconds behind the winner.

The men’s World Cup circuit remains in Switzerland for another classic in Wengen next weekend, when speed specialists will be in the limelight again.

SUTER WINS SUPER-G

REUTERS, BAD KLEINKIRCHEIM, AUSTRIA

Third in Saturday’s downhill on the same piste, Fabienne Suter confirmed her return to form when she won a women’s super-G in Bad Kleinkircheim yesterday.

The Swiss, who turned 27 last week, clocked 1 minute, 9.55 seconds on the steep Austrian piste to snatch her first victory in nearly three years.

Suter, winner of three previous World Cup races — one downhill and two super-Gs — had considered quitting last year after a poor 2010-2011 season.

“I had to be patient, but I was hoping for a good result here as I like this kind of tough course,” Suter said. “I did OK in the downhill, despite a mistake, so I was mostly looking for a clean race today. I managed to keep the best line from top to bottom this time.”

It was Switzerland’s first win this season in the women’s ranks and an excellent overall performance, with four Swiss in the top seven.

Giant slalom world champion Tina Maze equaled her best super-G result by finishing second, but the Olympic silver-medalist missed her chance to become one of the rare skiers to have won in all five alpine disciplines by 0.34 seconds.

Austria’s Anna Fenninger was third, 0.74 seconds off the pace.

Hot favorite Lindsey Vonn, weakened by a stomach bug, finished 1.53 seconds behind Suter in a disappointing 18th place. It was her worst result in a super-G since February 2008.

The American retained her comfortable lead in the World Cup overall standings, but she will be wary of improving Maze.

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