World champs starts in Garmisch

10th February 2011, by Chris Gill

Garmisch on a snowier day

Garmisch on a snowier day

The 2011 FIS World Championships have got off to a good start in Germany. All the leading racers are in action in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the next two weeks, scurrying for points on the World Cup circuit.

And, as is often the case in the World Cup, there have been some surprises. First up, the defending World Champion Carlo Janka has pulled out of the downhill and super-combined events.

Apparently the Swiss racer has suffered the effects of a recent viral infection and needs some recovery time, but does expect to take part in the Giant Slalom next week.

Some races have already been fought for and won on Thursday, with the men and women’s super-G events the first to kick off. And the athletes were in for a challenge on the bumpy and icy Kandahar course that has suffered, like much of the Alps, a lack of recent snowfall.

Christof Innerhofer of Italy won the men’s competition in 1:38.31 seconds, about .60 seconds ahead of Austria’s Hannes Reichelt who finished second – two surprises on the podium.

Overall World Cup leader Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic finished third in 1:39.03. Didier Cuche was jostled into fourth position.

In the women’s event, Elisabeth Goergl took first place while three-time Olympic champion Julia Mancuso of the US picked up a silver medal.  Goergl’s win was her first of the season, delighting the 29-year-old Austrian who attacked the difficult course with a storming performance. It was however not to be her teamate US champion Lyndsey Vonn’s day – she finished seventh.

If you want to catch the downhill action, the men’s race takes place on Saturday 12 February and the women’s on Sunday.


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