Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Day 14: Jean-Baptiste Grange Won The Men's Slalom

On the last day of the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen Jean-Baptiste Grange won the Gold Medal at the Men's Slalom Event. Grange a specialist in the most thecnical discipline was Bronze medalist at the World Championships in 2007 and he won the overall ranking of the Slalom in the season 2008/09. Then he missed the Olympics and was out for most of last year’s World Cup season with a torn ligament in his right knee. He kicked off his comeback season with an immediate win at the World Cup in Levi, then followed up with a podium in the Wengen slalom and huge victories in Kitzbuehel and Schladming. "It’s just amazing for me", Grange said. "It was so tough the last two years with the world championships in France and then my injury. I just focused to push today and cross the line (...) I knew the snow conditions were not very good. I was just focused on skiing fast and pushing on, because if I thought about everything – the medals, the pressure – that’s not going to be good. So it is a wonderful gift. I give a lot to have that. It’s perfect".
Coming in for a surprise silver, Swedish slalom specialist Jens Byggmark made his first podium in more than three years, earning his first career medal, finishing 0.43 seconds behind Grange. Byggmark trailed Grange by more than a second going into run No. 2, but between runs announced "I’m running for a medal. That’s why we’re all here", and then capitalized on his coach’s second run course set.
Blazing downfast in both runs on the slushy slope, Italy’s Manfred Moelgg rounded out the podium with the bronze, finishing 0.61 seconds off Grange’s winning time.

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