Ted Ligety won Gold on the Giant Slalom in the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. With his three wins this season in Beaver Creek, Val-d’Isere and Alta Badia, the American Ted Ligety was the big favourite and the one to beat in the Giant Slalom on Friday. After a 4th place in the first run Ligety won the gold medal thanks to a superb second run, finishing with a total time of 2 minutes, 10.56 seconds, just 0.08 hundredths of a second ahead of French silver medalist Cyprien Richard and 0.43 ahead of French bronze medalist Austrian Philipp Schoerghofer.
Due to fog that once again settled on the Kandahar slope on Friday, officials shortened the GS course but visibility was challenging and the snow spring-like and tricky. "Today was tough. It’s not easy being one of the favorites and to perform under those conditions", said Ligety, who leads the World Cup Giant Slalom standings and has twice won the Giant Slalom globe – last year and in 2008. Ligety adds this medal to his Olympic gold from the 2006 combined and also his bronze in the world champs Giant Slalom in 2006. "Winning the World Championships when you’re the favorite is a lot more difficult than being a surprise victor, so it’s pretty special to be able to handle that pressure and win, (...) I knew what my mindset was those first three races, and I just tried to get back to that and ski with certainty and attack and that’s what I did", Ligety added.
Cyprien Richard, who was a key component in France’s gold medal in the Team Event, was glowing with his silver medal – won on conditions that were also not his strength and putting down a very fast second run, in particular. "My goal, I said a lot of times, is to stay at a high level in all conditions, on all pistes", Richard said. "I knew the snow is very wet, it’s spring conditions here. It’s always tough for us to ski fast in these conditions because usually we are training on the ice and harder snow. I’m proud to have done this here".
Philipp Schoerghofer said that while it is unfortunate that the Austrian men’s technical team has lost some of its top contenders this season, with Hannes Reichelt, Marcel Hirscher and now Benjamin Raich all out with injury, he is still focused on what he can do. "It’s very bad for our team to have a lot of people who have injuries, but skiing is a one-man show, so I’m happy for Austria and I’m most happy for me", he said.
The 2011 World Championships continue tomorrow in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with the Ladies' Slalom and wrap up with Men’s Slalom on Sunday.
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.