Austria’s Hirscher tops after first run of slalom
BEAVER CREEK — Austria’s Marcel Hirscher appears to be in the catbird seat after one run of the men’s slalom during Sunday’s finale of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek.
Hirscher, the defending Championships gold medalist, went first and laid down a time of 1 minute, 3.38 seconds and that stood for the rest of the morning. Russia’s Alexander Khoroshilov sits in second place 0.28-seconds off the pace. No Russian man has ever medaled at Worlds, so some history might be in the making with the second run set for 2:15 p.m. today.
Sweden’s Andre Myhrer holds down third place (66-hundredths of a second back), followed by teammate Mattias Hargin (88-hundredths). Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange (0.88 seconds off the pace) and German Fritz Dopfer (0.93) are the only other two racers within 1 second of Hirscher.
In a surprise, Germany’s Felix Neureuther, who leads the World Cup in slalom, is in seventh place, 1.09 seconds behind.
American Ted Ligety is in 15th place.
Not only Hirscher is seeking a repeat world title, but he is also looking for his fourth medal of the Championships. The three-time defending World Cup champion won gold in both the combined and the team event and was second in Friday’s men’s giant slalom behind Ligety.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.