Friday, February 17, 2017

Marcel Hirscher Wins Gold in the Giant Slalom at St. Moritz 2017

Austrian Marcel Hirscher lived up to the hype on Friday to collect his sixth career medal, third gold and second of the 2017 St. Moritz Ski World Championships winning the Giant Slalom.
Hirscher’s winning time of 2:13.31 bested his compatriot, Roland Leitinger in second, by 0.25 seconds and Norway’s Leif Kristian Haugen finished in third, 0.71 seconds off the pace.
"It took me six years to catch this medal. After Schladming second position and Vail/Beaver Creek second position, now first position, that is not too bad", a relieved Hirscher said after the race. "It was very hard to fight in the second run for every one of us. It was physically one of the toughest races. Crossing the finish line, watching on the screen, my thoughts were, ‘Where’s Pinturault? Where is Schoerghofer? I’m World Champion!’ Then, seeing Roland Leitinger was very unexpected for me, but it was good to have him in this position. It was really great to have another Austrian on the podium".It was the first ever podium of Leitinger's career, whose best World Cup result is sixth in Soelden in 2015. He had yet to crack the top-10 this season.
"It was just an absolutely amazing second run for me", Leitinger said. "I was in the finish area and saw a half-second and was screaming so loud, it was just amazing. I have the speed on my skis now. I’ve already had it the last days in training, so I know if everything is working for me I can do it. Today, World Championships silver medal, everything was perfect for me".The Austrians were joined on the podium by another first-timer, Leif Kristian Haugen of Norway.
"Amazing, it is my first podium and to get it in the world Championships is amazing", said Haugen"I fought hard, I did everything I could and I was extremely nervous between the runs, but I managed to give it everything I got. I even brought a panel with me on the way down. It’s crazy. I thought it was going to be another fourth. It’s better to think that way and be surprised than expect to medal. So many hours have been put in. Thousands of hours with one of the best alpine teams in the world, and now I’ve pulled it together in two runs".
Haugen finished fourth in the parallel GS earlier this season in Alta Badia and was also fourth in the Kitzbuehel slalom.

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