Swiss slalom skiers embarrassed at home

One to forget: Daniel Albrecht crashing out of the World Cup giant slalom in Adelboden Keystone

For the second time in five days not a single Swiss skier has managed to qualify for the second leg of a men's World Cup slalom.

This content was published on January 11, 2009 - 15:45

The record 37,000 spectators at the Swiss resort of Adelboden were hoping to see at least one local skier finish on Sunday, but following Tuesday's poor show in the night slalom in Zagreb, 31st in the first run was as good as it got.

Daniel Albrecht and Saturday's giant slalom hero Sandro Viletta both crashed out of the first leg and Marc Berthod and Silvan Zurbriggen finished but failed to make the top-30 cut. Daniel Gini recorded the best Swiss performance of the day, coming in 31st after the first run.

"We can't really be satisfied with our weekend," admitted head of the Swiss team Martin Rufener.

Technical coach Sepp Brunner said the Swiss were victims of a "total insecurity" when it came to the slalom.

"Everything goes well in training, but not in a race," he said. "It's a mental problem – and there's not much we can do about that. They have to keep calm and step up the practice in order to regain confidence."

Austrian success

Austrian supporters had more to cheer: Reinfried Herbst won the fourth of ten World Cup slaloms ahead of countryman Manfred Pranger.

Herbst had a stellar second run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 42.95 seconds on the Kuonisbärgli piste after being tenth in the first leg. It is his fourth career World Cup win.

Pranger led after the first leg but finished 0.18 seconds back. Germany's Felix Neureuther was 0.32 back in third.

Defending overall champion Bode Miller of the United States was fourth after the morning run but struggled in the final five gates in the afternoon and finished 16th.

World Cup slalom leader Jean-Baptiste Grange was ninth and retains his lead in the discipline standings. Austria's Benjamin Raich kept the overall lead, with Swiss skiers Didier Cuche, Daniel Albrecht, Carlo Janka and Didier Défago in fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth places respectively.

Women's woes

Switzerland's female skiers didn't fare much better on Sunday, with top-placed Sandra Gini managing only tenth in a World Cup slalom in the Slovenian resort of Maribor.

Maria Riesch of Germany continued her dominating form by winning her fourth consecutive women's World Cup slalom by more than one second.

Riesch held a commanding lead after the opening run on the Radvanje course and comfortably held off her challengers in the second to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 29.64 seconds. Kathrin Zettel of Austria took second, 1.15 seconds behind, while Finland's Tanja Poutiainen was third, 1.77 back.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Men's Adelboden slalom result:

1. Reinfried Herbst, Austria, 1 minute 42.95 seconds (50.12-52.83)
2. Manfred Pranger, Austria, 1:43.13 (49.14-53.99)
3. Felix Neureuther, Germany, 1:43.27 (50.37-52.90)
4. Andre Myhrer, Sweden, 1:43.29 (50.43-52.86)
5. Manfred Moelgg, Italy, 1:43.33 (49.91-53.42)
6. Marcel Hirscher, Austria, 1:43.51 (49.79-53.72)
7.= Mattias Hargin, Sweden, 1:43.58 (51.07-52.51)
7.= Mario Matt, Austria, 1:43.58 (50.36-53.22)
9. Jean-Baptiste Grange, France, 1:43.59 (50.22-53.37)
10. Giorgio Rocca, Italy, 1:43.62 (50.08-53.54).

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