Switzerland’s alpine skiers suffered further disappointment in the last of the Olympic speed events with Corinne Rey-Bellet and Sylviane Berthod missing out on medals in Sunday's super-GThis content was published on February 18, 2002 - 11:36
In another night of disappointment for the Swiss, both women made critical mistakes on the technical Snow Basin course.
Rey-Bellet, from canton Valais, started her race over-cautiously, swinging wide around the first turn and immediately losing a third of a second to eventual race winner Italian Daniela Ceccarelli at the first timing point.
She never recovered her tempo and finished in ninth place overall with a time of 1:14.73, over a second behind Ceccarelli.
Her compatriot Sylviane Berthod - who is starting to regain her medal-winning form after a serious back injury - started more aggressively but crashed heavily at the 11th gate.
After a strong start, Berthod appeared to snag her right arm on the gate, spinning into a serious fall that ended with course assistants gingerly untangling her from the safety netting. She walked away without serious injury.
The third Swiss competitor, downhill specialist Catherine Borghi, failed to make an impression on the medal listings.
She finished 18th - one position better than her downhill performance - in a time of 1:15.62, over two seconds off the gold-medal pace.
Same as Cuche
The poor result came just one night after Swiss Didier Cuche also ruined his dream of an Olympic Super-G medal in the men's event. Cuche, like Berthod, was unable to finish his race despite starting in competitive fashion.
Berthod said Sunday's disappointment had underlined a luckless downhill and Super-G campaign for the Swiss team.
"I think this wasn't our Olympics, but in four years in Torino [venue for the 2006 Winter Olympics] things will be different," Berthod said.
Wanting too much
Berthod blamed her crash on trying too hard. “I really wanted to go 100 per cent and then I hit an early gate which twisted me. I was racing for a medal and I really wanted to do something.”
“Perhaps I wanted too much.”
Commentators said Rey-Bellet appeared to lack confidence on the twisting course, which saw several of the world’s top skiers crash out.
Mastering the tight course became a key challenge for racers, and despite being slower than many Super-Gs on the World Cup circuit, the track featured several difficult drops and hard traverses.
Ain’t got no rhythm
Speaking after the race, Rey-Bellet said she had failed to find her timing in the race.
“I never found the rhythm and didn’t get the mix right between letting go and cutting the turns hard,” Rey-Bellet said.
“I felt good and attacked, but it didn’t go how I wanted it to.”
She also blamed her start on high winds near the top of the course.
“But that’s ski sport. You need to take risks and sometimes they don’t work and that creates disappointments.”
Swiss medal hopes are now riding on Sonja Nef, Michael von Grüningen and Cuche in the giant slalom races.
by Jacob Greber with agencies
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