Put on your dancing shoes America. Ted Ligety won the World Championship giant slalom.
For what is now officially the best giant slalom skier in the world it was business as usual. Ted “Shred” Ligety went about his job. He fed off the energy of the World Championships, listened to a detailed course report from Bode Miller, the fastest skier of the second run and then he executed, laying into his turns as only he can. And he continued to execute, turn after turn, coming away with a narrow .08 of a second gold medal margin over Frenchman Cyprien Richard. Austria’s Philipp Schoerghofer salvaged his nation’s pride with a strong bronze medal performance.
The day, and indeed the next two years, belong to Ligety who will add this gold medal to a collection of crystal globes from his two GS World Cup titles.
It took near perfect execution to pull off. Fourth after the first run ,Ligety said he wasn’t too concerned about a quarter of a second disadvantage. Although his three World Cup GS wins in December had resulted from first run wins, that had not been common in past years when he had delivered wins by coming from behind. “It really doesn’t matter what position you’re in as long as you’re in touch.”
“Between runs we just talked fight, fight, fight,” said coach Sasha Rearick. “We’ve been here before, we know what we have to do. When we saw the course today we knew those were the type of turns where Ted can dominate. This course set suited dynamic skiers. He should win, he knows he should win and he’s a great skier, but to actually go out and execute on race day is a challenge. He is the best in the world when he can go clean and deep. The main thing was for him to trust himself and go as hard as he can.”
When he ran in the second heat he was looking at Richard with the lead, having come from further out with the second-fastest run of the second heat. Richard had been seventh, 0.71 out. After Richard ran Carlo Janka dumped all his speed leading into the flat and dropped back and Didier Cuche, skiing with his hand in a cast could not get into the fight, ran into some trouble on the steep and also dropped back. Ivica Kostelic, too, fought his way down the pitch to finish well back. Neither Schoerghofer, the first run runner-up, nor Aksel Svindal, the first run leader could match Richard.
“Drop your knee in and kill it. You’ve just got to work hard on that bottom Ted. Hammer,” was the tail end of a long and detailed course report from Miller. After a tough first run when he got behind the course above the pitch, Miller was nearly perfect in the second, but had left an impossible task of making up nearly two seconds. He got back enough to climb from 27th to 12th, but his role in this championship was not as the winner, rather as the teammate. The information he delivered helped Ted Ligety produce a world championship.
“It’s always nice because the coaches don’t really know what’s going on with the course until somebody runs it,” Ligety said. “Having Bode relay up is good because he obviously has a good feeling for the snow and he was the fastest guy in the run so he knew what to do. He got on the radio and told me that I had to push super hard, where I had to be tactical and where it was still clean enough to hammer.”
For Schoerghofer the result was important, for his nation even more so.
With just one previous medal for the Austrian men – in super G from
Hannes Reichelt – the medal was all but mandatory, but the team had
entered the race without Reichelt – injured in training – and Benjamin Raich
who has undergone surgery after a crash in the team event here.
Schoerghofer, in fact, might not have made the GS team had the team
remained healthy. He was supported by a huge fan club that took up a
section of the bleachers and was led my his mom and family and his
girlfriend’s family. “There were 120 people cheering,” he said smiling.
They are from many towns in the region and it is only a two and a half
“I am extremely proud to have this medal for Austria and I am extremely proud for me.”
He said he did not watch Svindal’s run, knowing the six time World medalist stood a good chance to bump him off the podium.
“I didn’t ski good enough down the steep and out of there were some small mistakes,” said Svindal. “I didn’t carry the speed I had in the first run. I have the gold from the combined so that’s the way it is. As long as you are in the fight for medals, sometimes you are going to get them and some times not.”
Also missing the steps was Cuche who had told his doctors if he won a medal of any color he wouldn’t need anesthesia when they operate on the thumb he broke in training.
“No, it is not a disappointment,” he said. “My heart hurts because I know that was my last start in a World Championship. I won’t be in Schladming (2013).”
It is the fourth U.S. gold medal in GS, the first coming in 1982 from
Steve Mahre in a record setting U.S. showing in Schladming. The second
was a surprise from Diann Roffe in 1985 at Bormio and Bode Miller won
his at St Moritz in 2003. But this one, this gutsy, no nonsense effort
from Ligety has turned a disappointing World Championship into a
successful, joyful celebration for the USA.
Nothing left now but the dancing.
By Hank McKee
Men’s World Championship Giant Slalom, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 18, 2011
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Richard, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
3 Schoerghofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
5 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
6 Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Janka, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Cuche, Head/Head/Head
9 DeTessieres, Head/Head/Head
10 Sandell, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Men’s World Championship Giant Slalom, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 18, 2011. … It is the ninth of 11 scheduled events. … The fourth of five men’s races. … It is the 46th giant slalom held in World Championship competition.
It is the second career World Championship medal for Ted Ligety having previously won a bronze medal in GS at Val d’Isere in 2009. … He also owns an Olympic gold medal from combined in 2006. … It is his fourth win of the season – all in GS – including World Cup results.
It is the first medal and first World Championship result for Cyprien Richard as an individual, though he was a member of the gold medal French team earlier in this championship. … it is his third podium result of the season having won a World Cup GS at Adelboden and finishing second in GS at Alta Badia.
It is the first medal and second result at World Championships for Philipp Schoerghofer. … He was 14th in GS at Val d’Isere. … It is his second podium result of the season having won the Hinterstoder World Cup GS earlier this month.
Bode Miller matches his 12th best World Championship result. … It is the third time he has placed 12th in a World title meet race. … it matches his tenth best result of the season. … It is the third result of the season for Warner Nickerson. … his first in World Championship competition.
Austria 6 (3gold, 2silver, 1bronze)
Italy 5 (1gold, 2silver, 2bronze)
USA 3 (1gold, 2silver
France 3 (1gold, 1silver, 1bronze)
Slovenia 1 (1gold, 1silver)
Canada 1 (1gold)
Norway 1 (1gold)
Switzerland 1 (1silver)
Germany 2 (2bronze)
Sweden 1 (1bronze)
Croatia 1 (1bronze)
Images by Gepa
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|4||2||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:02.08||1:08.97||2:11.05||3.27|
|9||8||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA||1:02.86||1:08.64||2:11.50||6.26|
|16||22||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||1:03.55||1:08.51||2:12.06||10.00|
|25||19||420148||KARLSEN Truls Ove||1975||NOR||1:03.87||1:09.05||2:12.92||15.73|
|37||45||491151||DE LA CUESTA Paul||1988||SPA||1:04.60||1:10.31||2:14.91||28.99|
|42||42||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG||1:05.97||1:11.17||2:17.14||43.85|
|49||65||60088||VAN DEN BOGAERT Jeroen||1979||BEL||1:06.67||1:13.94||2:20.61||66.97|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|60||90||950000||OETTL REYES Manfred||1993||PER||1:11.35||1:11.35|
|Did not qualify for final race|
|70||9||400163||ROOIJ VAN Joery||1986||NED||1:07.36||1:08.36||2:15.72|
|71||18||20267||ESTEVE RIGAIL Kevin||1989||AND||1:07.84||1:08.29||2:16.13|
|75||43||260110||KIYA DARBANDSARI Mohammad||1989||IRA||1:08.71||1:09.48||2:18.19|
|89||62||260079||SAVEH SHEMSHAKI Hossein||1985||IRA||1:11.18||1:11.39||2:22.57|
|91||28||110294||ECHEVERRIA Jose Tomas||1992||CHI||1:10.71||1:12.14||2:22.85|
|106||77||80062||SETUBAL Paulo E.||1988||BRA||1:14.29||1:15.88||2:30.17|
|111||104||270040||MC SHERA Shane||1990||IRE||1:15.22||1:18.02||2:33.24|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 2nd run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|67||260097||SAVEH SHEMSHAKI Porya||1987||IRA|
|Disqualified 2nd run in qualification race|
|Disqualified 1st run in qualification race|
|Did not start 2nd run in qualification race|
|112||540001||VON HOHENLOHE Hubertus||1959||MEX|
|Did not start 1st run in qualification race|
|Did not finish 2nd run in qualification race|
|44||30283||FREEMAN CRESPO Ignacio||1992||ARG|
|Did not finish 1st run in qualification race|