Saturday, February 12, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 6: Canada's Erik Guay becomes Downhill Champion

Canada's Erik Guay becomes Downhill Champion at the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Canadian who landed his first ever victory on the World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2007 and secured the Super-G globe here last year, winning at World Cup finals, blazed down the long, bumpy Kandahar course to victory again on Saturday, earning the first medal of his career. "Winning the crystal globe – and winning it here in Garmisch, then to be downhill world champion … it doesn’t really get any better", Guay said, adding that he sometimes gets a sixth sense premonition before his most successful races, but on Saturday it was pure formula that made it happen. "I had a great start number – number 10 – and I just skied the run of my life. Usually in the morning or before my start I can tell I’m going to have a great day. Today I didn’t really feel that but I had a game plan: Stay calm and execute where I needed to and I think I did that. So I’m just taking it all in".
Spring-like weather continued in Garmisch as Guay charged down the Kandahar in 1 minute, 58.41 seconds, gaining speed the whole way down and Didier Cuche, who had been calculating his energy in training all week to unleash in the race on Saturday, landed the silver – the fourth world champs medal of his long career – 0.32 seconds back. "It wasn’t easy to start in those conditions, starting from the back, it was really soft. I knew that even before the start that it could be I go home without any medal in the speed events", he said. "That’s why I’m really happy being second here. I think I [won] the second place, I didn’t lose the victory".
Christof Innerhofer, whose Super-G gold on Wednesday seems to have gifted him the extra hundredths of speed it takes for consistent podium finishes, landed his second medal in four days with the bronze, 0.76 seconds out. "It’s unbelievable days – three days and two medals – Wow. I cannot dream [of] this", the Italian said. "After the Super-G, I said, ‘Christof, you cannot any more win. Because the other guys – the favorites – they must do well. They want medals.’ For me, all what is coming more … it’s great and I cannot believe it. Garmisch is a dream for me".

From February 7th to February 20th 2011 Garmisch-Partenkirchen will again be center of the Ski World during the 41st FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous winter sport resorts of the whole alpine region. Olympic Winter Games in 1936, Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970 , FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009 the list of events shows why Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also called the cradle of ski racing in Germany. 525 athletes -208 ladies and 317 men- from 69 nations, more than any from the last five world alpine ski championships, will be competing for medals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011. The event also welcomes 1,170 media representatives, a record for a World Alpine Ski Championship.
33 FIS World Championships medals will be awarded as the competition schedule includes five Ladies' and five Men's events as well as the co-ed nations' team event. The nations' team event will be staged for the third time since its introduction in Bormio (ITA) in 2005 and successful second edition in Are (SWE) in 2007 after inclement weather forced cancellation in Val d’Isére (FRA) in 2009. For the first time, however, the event will be carried out in the Parallel Giant Slalom format.

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