Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 10: France Took Gold on the Teams Event

The French team took gold in the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Nations Team event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The head-to-head matchups between 11 nations were intense from the first heat to the last – several coming down to the last hundredth of a second and in the end – France barely squeaked by Austria for the gold. "It was very, very close, a lot of suspense … it was great", said France’s Tessa Worley, who had a fierce final run against world Super-combined champion Anna Fenninger and lost by 0.10 seconds, but her teammates – Cyprien Richard and Anemone Marmottan,– came through with wins in their runs and enough of a margin for the collective victory. Both Austria and France won two of the final four runs, but the gold medal was decided by the 0.05 hundredths by which France’s collective times were faster.
The Silver medal went to the Austrian team. Baumann, in particular, had thought his Austrian team, which swept Italy in the semi-finals, would get the gold. It came down to the final run between he and Fanara and the Austrian won by 0.39 seconds. "I think everyone on our team was really, really aggressive and wanted this medal so much", Baumann said. "We did a good job. We knew this [final heat against France] is going to be close. They had nearly the same times in the races before. All in all it’s just a few hundredths of a second. First when I came to the finish and saw the green light around Austria, I thought, ‘Yeah! we did it! But 10 seconds later the light switched and we were second. But second place is OK, too".
The Swedish team ended up with the bronze, and was dominating through several heats, so much so in the quarterfinals that Hans Olsson spun around backwards when he crossed the finish line during his heat against Switzerland. In the small final, the Swedes won every race against Italy. "It’s so fun to ski togethter with the team, both girls and boys – it’s a little more pressure when you know you’re skiing for the team, but I think it’s fun and it’s part of this game", said Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner, who won every race she did all day, her closest being against Worley, in which she pulled ahead by 0.03 seconds. "For me, this is like a normal race. I’m doing the same thing. It’s a little different distance, but it’s a fun and important race for me, too. Maybe the atmosphere is a little less serious, but when it’s four ski racers on the start and you’re competing against each other, we are really into the race".

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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