Alpine skiing-France upset favourites Austria in team event

Reuters

Wed, 16 Feb 12:22:00 2011

France atoned for a poor start to the alpine skiing world championships on Wednesday when they upset favourites Austria to win the team event.

Giant slalom specialists Tessa Worley, Anemone Marmottan, Cyprien Richard and Thomas Fanara bettered the powerful Austrian to win the final and claim their first world championship gold since since 2001 when Regine Cavagnoud won the Super-G in Sankt Anton.

The team event, previously held in 2005 and 2007, is now staged as a parallel slalom involving two men and two women from each team. In the event of a draw, the title is decided by the best overall time over the four runs.

Defending champions Austria competed without team leader Benjamin Raich in the final after the three-times world champion crashed out in a previous round against Croatia.

Raich injured his left knee and was taken to hospital in Innsbruck for further checks. His girlfriend Marlies Schild also missed the semi-final and final.

Sweden won the bronze medal ahead of Italy, giving Anja Paerson her 19th Olympic and world title.

The seven-times world champion will go for the record of 20 held by Norway's Kjetil-Andre Aamodt in the two remaining events, the giant slalom on Thursday and the slalom on Saturday.

France's gold medal will be a great morale booster for Worley, winner of three races this season, who takes on the Germans on their home snow in the women's giant slalom on Thursday.

 

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