Austrians rule at world ski championships 

Forsyth’s sixth was Canada’s best

Although they got off to a slow start, Austria came away from the World Alpine Ski Championships with the lion’s share of the hardware – but a smaller share compared to the last championships.

This year they took 11 of 30 medals, compared to 13 medals in 1999.

For the German skiers, who failed to make a single podium at the last world championships, however, it was a comeback year – Martina Ertl won gold in the combined and Hilde Gerg and Florian Eckert came up with bronze medals in the super-G and downhill events.

Austria’s Hermann Maier, the defending world champion in the super-G and downhill, had to settle for a bronze and a silver in these events.

Daron Rahlves of the U.S. shocked the crowd when he took "The Hermannator’s" place in the super-G, his first championship in that event, and first U.S. title in 19 years. He also finished fifth in the downhill.

The Norwegian team fell a little flat, winning just three medals this year compared to nine in 1999. One of those medals made history, as Kjetil Andre Aamodt broke established world records in becoming the first skier to repeat as combined champion in three consecutive world championships, and for winning his 14 th medal in a world championship or Olympic event.

France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Slovenia also put athletes on the podium.

The Canadian team, which in many ways is having its best season in a decade, missed the podium but came close with a number of top-10 and top-15 finishes.

While there were a lot of positives to come out of the championships for the Canadians, the main focus has been the injury to B.C. rookie Emily Brydon, one of Canada’s top World Cup prospects. The 20 year old tore three ligaments and injured her meniscus when she lost control in the soft snow at a tight turn and was launched into the safety netting. She will be out be out for at least six months.

Allison Forsyth of Nanaimo was the top Canadian with a sixth in the giant slalom, the best Canadian finish in a world championship GS in 31 years.

"I’m really happy with this result today," said Forsyth. "As of 10 minutes before the start I wasn’t sure I would be able to race. After the bad fall I had in the slalom race I was in quite a bit of pain. I know I’m a solid top-10 skier so this is good for me.

"Obviously at the world championships you go for the podium but I’m satisfied with sixth."

Melanie Turgeon finished 10 th in the super-G, and14 th in the downhill, Thomas Grandi was 13 th in the slalom, and Ed Podivinsky was 16 th in the downhill.

The World Cup circuit resumes this weekend with a men’s giant slalom at Shiga Kogen, Japan, and a women’s super-G at Garmisch, Germany.

World Ski Championship final results:

Women’s Super G – Jan. 29

1. Regine Cavagnoud (France)

2. Isolde Kostner (Italy)

3. Hilde Gerg (Germany)

10. Melanie Turgeon (CAN)

12. Emily Brydon (CAN)

27. Anne-Marie LeFrancois (CAN)

33. Sara-Maude Boucher (CAN)

Men’s Super G – Jan. 30

1. Daron Rahlves (USA)

2. Stephan Eberharter (Austria)

3. Hermann Maier (Austria)

27. Darin McBeath (CAN)

33. Mike Giannelli (CAN)

Women’s Combined – Feb. 2

1. Martina Ertl (Germany)

2. Christine Sponring (Austria)

3. Karen Putzer (Italy)

Men’s Combined – Feb. 5

1. Kjetil Andre Aamodt (Norway)

2. Mario Matt (Austria)

3. Paul Accola (Switzerland)

Women’s Downhill – Feb. 6

1. Michaela Dorfmeister (Austria)

2. Renate Goetschl (Austria)

3. Selina Heregger (Austria)

14. Melanie Turgeon (CAN)

25. Anne-Marie LeFrancois (CAN)

33. Sara-Maude Boucher (CAN)

Men’s Downhill – Feb. 7

1. Hans Trinkl (Austria)

2. Hermann Maier (Austria)

3. Florian Eckert (Germany)

16. Ed Podivinsky (CAN)

19. Darin McBeath (CAN)

21. Luke Sauder (CAN)

Women’s Slalom – Feb. 7

1. Anja Paerson (Sweden)

2. Christel Saoni (France)

3. Hedda Bernsten (Norway)

19. Anna Prchal (CAN)

25. Sara-Maude Boucher (CAN)

Men’s Slalom – Feb. 10

1. Mario Matt (Austria)

2. Benjamin Raich (Austria)

3. Mitja Kunc (Slovenia)

13. Thomas Grandi (CAN)

Women’s Giant Slalom – Feb. 9

1. Sonja Nef (Switzerland)

2. Karen Putzer (Italy)

3. Anja Paerson (Sweden)

6. Allison Forsyth (CAN)

23. Britt Janyk (Whistler, CAN)

Men’s Giant Slalom – Feb. 8

1. Michael Von Gruenigen (Switzerland)

2. Kjetil Andre Aamodt (Norway)

3. Frederic Covili (France)


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