An Austrian team lead by Michaela Kirchgasser and Philipp Schoerghofer won a parallel slalom nations team event on home snow today (March 16) at World Cup Finals in Schladming, Austria.
The Austrians battled through three rounds of competition, defeating the U.S team in the semifinals and the Swiss in the finals as thousands of local fans cheered wildly in the stands.
The U.S. Team of Julia Mancuso, Nolan Kasper, Resi Stiegler and Tim Jitloff defeated a French team in the quarter finals and eventually faced Sweden in the small final for the bronze medal but had to settle for fourth place when Stiegler fell.
“This event is always difficult, but it’s fun,” said Mancuso, who won each of her heats today as well as a World Cup parallel slalom races in Moscow last month. “It’s hard to tell who wins because it could go both ways and I think it should be more about who wins by more and not who has the fastest time. There’s always a faster course in things like this.”
Kasper was awarded 5,000 CHF for recording the fastest time of the day.
“It was a fun event, it was a little inconsistent for me, but I’m psyched that I got a fast run in there. It’s a bummer that we had a teammate go out today,” said Kasper. “Resi (Stiegler) was skiing really strong coming into the Finals and it would have been exciting to see her ski tomorrow’s slalom.”
Stiegler, who earned her first World Cup podium just two weeks ago after missing the majority of the previous three seasons with injuries, was reportedly holding her left knee after the crash and was carried off the course by coaches. The extent of her injury is unknown at this time. Stiegler will return to the United States for further evaluation and will not compete in the Finals slalom. Ski Racing will provide more information as it becomes available.
Several World Cup stars were on hand in Schladming and took to twitter to share their thoughts on today’s event.
“In a parallel the courses should be equally fast. Not the case in Schladming. Blue course way faster,” wrote Aksel Lund Svindal, who later added. “Team event taking racers out. Last year Benni Raich, this year Resi Stiegler. Poor girl. Injured again. Get well Resi!”
“They need to set parallels with more offset and distance. It looks like spastic jump rope not skiing. Bring carving to parallel!” tweeted Ted Ligety.
Click the file below to download the complete results bracket.
5 Czech Republic
Images by Gepa