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Giant Slalom affected by dense fog

February 25, 2010

McGarry currently lies 55th out of 86 race starters and was satisfied with her first run given the difficult conditions. Several centimetres of wet snow fell on the race piste before and during the first run, which made for wet and sticky race conditions.

McGarry said after the first run “I feel that i did well in the rough conditions. The run was very bumpy, lots of hidden grooves. I’m looking forward to the second run tomorrow and hope to improve my placing”

Goergl tops giant slalom as Vonn crashes out

Austrian Elisabeth Goergl was in pole position in the women’s Olympic giant slalom, but will have to wait until Thursday for a medal chance after dismal weather put paid to the second run.

Goergl clocked 1min 15.12sec on her first run down a course which again cost American speed queen Lindsey Vonn dearly before heavy snow gave way to thick fog that forced organisers to call off the final leg.

It will now be raced at 9.30am on Thursday.

Vonn, who has won downhill gold and super-G bronze here but crashed out of the super-combined, led the field at the third intermediary time by a massive 0.35 seconds.

With a quarter of the course to go, she misjudged a gate, lost her balance and bucked nastily off course, suffering a suspected injury to the little finger of her right hand.

Paramedics rushed to treat Vonn, but she got up unaided and skied down the rest of the course but was to undergo an x-ray on her hand.

“I really was attacking,” the American said. “I’m disappointed with myself. I knew the snow was breaking up on the bottom. I got too much inside the gate then lost the outside ski.

“I’ve got to get my hand x-rayed and we’ll see how it looks. I hope the x-ray comes back negative. I’ll see how I feel and I’ll make a call on the slalom tomorrow (Thursday).

“I was hoping for a medal but it wasn’t my day.”

In thick snow, team-mate Julia Mancuso’s run immediately after Vonn was brought to a halt and the double silver medallist was forced to start again.

Mancuso, the defending Olympic champion in the discipline, eventually finished 1.30sec off Goergl, who has already claimed a bronze in the downhill.

“I feel terrible (about Mancuso’s yellow flag). I never want to crash for myself let alone affect a team-mate,” said Vonn.

France’s Taina Barioz was second fastest at just two-hundredths adrift with Austrian duo Kathrin Zettel and Eva-Maria Brem in third and fourth.

“The course was not as fast as I expected,” said Zettel. “But it is giant slalom so it is more about feeling and everything went well for me despite poor visibility at the top.”

Fancied Slovenian Tina Maze, a silver medallist in the super-G, was at just 0.27sec, followed by German duo Viktoria Rebensburg and super-combined gold medallist Maria Riesch.

“It’s a very turny course. You always have to be on the turn and not late,” said Riesch, who added that the visibility at the top of the course was bad.

“But it’s the same for everyone. The snow is also changeable at the bottom of the course. It is pretty tight. I will try everything to move forward.”

Germany’s Kathrin Hoelzl, the giant slalom leader on the World Cup circuit, was in 10th at 0.69sec.

Sweden’s Anja Paerson, who rebounded from a horror crash in the downhill to take a bronze in the super-combined, finished in 12th at 0.89sec but was confident of a strong showing on the second leg, scheduled for 1.15pm local time.

“I felt pretty okay the whole run,” Paerson said. “I think I have a good chance of taking a medal here. I really have to charge in the second run.”

Eighty-six racers representing 47 different countries took part in the giant slalom, with the entry rules more relaxed than for the speed events.

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