FILE UNDER -- Alpine

New team competition will be finale for FIS world championships

New team competition will be finale for FIS world championships{mosimage}A new team competition will be part of the 2005 FIS Alpine World Championships in Bormio, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced on Saturday.

“The idea is to have a race with four participants from each team, two men and two women,” FIS president Gianfranco Kasper told a press conference. “For technical reasons it has been decided to hold a super G and a slalom, probably in just one single run.”

The team competition will be the final event of the world championships, which will be spread over three weekends. Christian Knauth, the FIS director for marketing and communications, said that the race would be held on the last day of the event to maximize its exposure on television.

The Austrian team, long opposed to the race, now seems resigned to it. “I know that there is the idea that there is these races,” said Austrian head men’s coach Toni Giger. “This is not a real team event. Two men and two women is too little for a team event in my opinion.” Giger said he would select the male competitors from his team if the race is approved by the FIS Congress in May.

“I am convinced that an event of this kind is certainly necessary in the alpine ski world,” said Kasper. “If we have a look at the various nordic disciplines, the team competitions are always the most interesting ones. I think that to introduce such a team competition during an event of such importance [the FIS worlds] is necessary. There is this possibility to have a new highlight in the ski world.”

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