Not a single cloud in the sky, a compact race track, the best athletes in the world and thousands of spectators; all conditions were gathered for an excellent concluding day at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz. The one that used those conditions the best and claims another World Champion title is Marcel Hirscher. The Austrian was the favourite entering today's slalom and lived up to all the hype to walkaway with two gold (slalom and giant slalom) and a silver (alpine combined) medal.
"It’s perfect", Hirscher said after the race. "Sun is shining, great conditions today and the skiing was in all pretty good. Austria is pretty stoked with another two podiums. The young guns are kicking my ass during the training runs so I am very grateful for this, it has helped me to improve myself every training run".
After the first run, all four Austrian athletes were sitting in the Top 7, with behind Marcel Hirscher Marco Schwarz in second, Michael Matt in third and Manuel Feller in seventh. The good spirit within the Austrian slalom team definitively proved to be prolific, as at the end of the race, it’s a double win for Austria with younggun Manuel Feller holding on to the pressure and earning his first career podium. It’s a relief for Feller, who was barely qualified for the World Championships as he finished only three of the eight World Cup slaloms he participated in this season.
The other surprise of the day came from Felix Neureuther. Not that a podium comes as a surprise for the German, he already won two World Championships medals in slalom and podiumed twice in slalom in this World Cup season, but because he was sitting in eights position after the first run. The experienced German had a sensational second run, which was enough to lift him to the bronze medal. It was the first medal for Germany at these Championships, saving the country from going home from St. Moritz empty handed.