Women’s technical team shut out in Lienz 

The Canadian women’s technical team, which has demonstrated both depth and podium results this season, came up with goose eggs in a pair of races at Lienz, Austria last weekend.

None of the four Canadians – Genevieve Simard and Anna Prchal of Quebec, Nanaimo’s Allison Forsyth and Whistler’s Britt Janyk – qualified for a second run in either the Dec. 29 slalom or the Dec. 28 GS.

The giant slalom, in particular, was an opportunity missed for the young Canadians, as six of the world’s top 15 GS racers either failed to finish or didn’t qualify for a second run. Norway’s Andrinne Flemmen had the fastest first run but wound up 16 th after a slow second run.

The surprise winner was 26-year-old veteran Lilian Kummer of Switzerland. Kummer’s best GS results this season prior to Lienz had been a 26 th at Val d’Isere and a 29 th at Copper Mountain.

Kummer’s first World Cup win came at the expense of Italy’s Karen Putzer, who was second by just .03 seconds. Swedes Ylva Nowen and Anja Paerson tied for third.

A tricky section on the first course saw several of the top skiers skid off course, including Switzerland’s Sonja Nef, who leads the GS standings, Finland’s Tanja Poutiainen and Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria.

Forsyth, who is still fourth in the GS standings, also went off course in the tricky section and did not finish. Prchal had similar problems

Whistler’s Janyk finished 36 th in the first run and Simard 40 th .

Janyk still needs one more top 12 finish in GS to qualify for a trip to the Salt Lake City Olympics. However, her time appears to be running out. The World Cup schedule has four more giant slaloms prior to the Olympics, at Maribor, Slovenia Jan. 5, Berchtesgaden, Germany Jan. 19, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy Jan. 27 and Are, Sweden Feb. 2. But the Canadian Olympic Association is scheduled to announce the Canadian Alpine contingent for the Olympic team on Jan. 18. If there are no additions to the team after Jan. 18 that would mean this weekend’s GS in Slovenia is Janyk’s final opportunity to get her second top 12 finish.

In the Dec. 29 slalom, Paerson claimed her second World Cup victory of the season, and third of her young career. Starting with bib number 1, the 20 year old cranked off the fastest first run of the day. In the second run she held off Germany’s Monica Bergmann and Kristina Koznick of the U.S. for the victory. Bergmann and Koznick both wound up .05 seconds behind Paerson and shared the silver medal.

Fellow Swede Nowen was fourth, Norway’s Trine Bakke fifth and Finland’s Poutiainen 10th in what turned out to be a great day for the Scandinavians.

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