Ski team beats expectations

Swiss competitors in the team event were all smiles Keystone

Switzerland have won their sixth medal on the last day of the Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre, Sweden.

This content was published on February 18, 2007 minutes

The Swiss team won bronze in the nations' team event on Sunday behind Austria and the host nation.

Skiing for the Swiss in the team competition were Fabienne Sutter, Nadia Styger, Sandra Gini, Rabea Grand, Marc Berthod und Daniel Albrecht.

The Swiss had to make do with bronze after Berthod swerved off course in the final slalom event of the competition. Nonetheless, it was a welcome medal for the team, led by Albrecht, who had already won gold in the combined event and silver in the giant slalom.

Prior to the championships, the 23-year-old had never finished on the podium on the World Cup circuit. His best results were two fourth-place finishes: in the slalom in Beaver Creek, Colorado, in December and the combined in Wengen, Switzerland, two years ago.

But the Swiss got off to a bad start in the team event when Styger missed a gate in the Super-G, receiving the worst possible score of 11 points.

Albrecht made up for some ground coming third in the second round, and Suter did her part in the third round by finishing second.

Fourth overall

Other winners this year were Didier Cuche who won bronze behind Albrecht in the giant slalom, Marc Berthod who finished third in the combined and Bruno Kernen who got the championships off to a good start for the Swiss with a bronze in the Super-G.

It was a medal haul far above the expectations of the coach of the men's team, Martin Rufener, who had set his sights on a minimum of one medal. Overall, Switzerland finished fourth in the tables, behind Austria, Sweden and Norway.

The six medals topped a successful comeback by the Swiss squad, which hit rock bottom at the 2005 Alpine World Ski Championships in Bormio, Italy, failing to win a single medal.

But the Swiss headed to Sweden with confidence, having stood nine times on the winners' podium in the first half of this World Cup year – seven times more than in the entire previous season.

swissinfo with agencies

Final medals table

Austria (3 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze)
Sweden (3, 2, 2)
Norway (2, 0, 0)
Switzerland (1, 1, 4)
Italy (1, 1, 1)
Czech Republic (1, 0, 0)
United States (0, 3, 0)
Canada (0, 1, 0)
France (0, 0, 1)

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Most successful skiers

Anja Pärson (Sweden) 3 - 1 - 1
Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) 2 - 0 - 0
Mario Matt (Austria) 2 - 0 - 0
Daniel Albrecht (Switzerland) 1 - 1 - 1
Marlies Schild (Austria) 1 - 1 - 1
Benjamin Raich (Austria) 1 - 1 - 0
Fritz Strobl (Austria) 1 - 1 - 0

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