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Men’s Slalom: The great Finale

19 February 2017: The last race of the World Ski Championships 2017 on Sunday will also decide, which nation will finish on top of the medal table. Marcel Hirscher will do everything possible for Austria to overtake Switzerland. However, to achieve this, he has to beat the Norvegian Henrik Kristoffersen, who has so far been the leader in slalom this season.

Kristoffersen (Agence Zoom)

The History: It is the discipline with the most strenuous training from specialists. It is hard to imagine that a racer can be world champion in the Slalom and the Downhill, as once was the custom but since Jean-Claude Killy 1968 no one has succeeded. With the advent of the bending gate poles in the 1980’s, the Slalom has totally changed, it has become much more dynamic and straightforward. The Swiss racer David Zogg won Gold in 1931 in the first WSC.

The Requirements: The difference in the length of the course must be between 180 and 220 metres from top to bottom, in St. Moritz it is 190. The number of changes of direction must be between 30 and 35 percent of the length of the course-with a tolerance of plus/minus three gates.

The Ski: It must be at least 165 cm long, the width under the binding must be at least 6,3 cm wide.

The Modus: The Slalom has always had two runs at big championships. Each course is set by a different course-setter. since the first numbers are generally considered to be advantageous because the course has fewer depressions and holes, the starting order is given starting with the top 15 racers. The first seven receive a number between 1 to 7, the racers between 8 and 15 receive a number between 8 and 15. On the second run, the first 30 racers from the results of the first run start in reverse order.

The WSC Course: The Start of the WSC-Slalom slope is above Alp Giop and offers no real special difficulties from the terrain, it just invites you to attack. Nevertheless, it is a demanding and fair race for all racers. Tight finish times are expected amongst the favourites.

The Title-Holder: The Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange won in Vail and repeating his success from four years before in Garmisch. Silver and bronze went to the Germans Fritz Dopfer and Felix Neureuther. Justin Murisier in 13th place was the best Swiss racer. Georges Schneider was in 1950 the last Swiss world champion in this discipline.

The Favourites: There are two racers who are in a league of their own: Henrik Kristofferson (Norway) who has won five of the eight races this season and Marcel Hirscher with two victories, and four times second. The only ‘’other’’ winner: Manfred Mölgg (Italy). Or can Dave Ryding, second at Kitzbühel take home the first WSC-medal for the British mens team? His fellow countrywoman during the 30’s won a total of eleven medals. At the World Cup Final 2016 Andre Myhrer (Sweden) won ahead of Hirscher and Sebastian Foss-Solevaag (Norway). Daniel Yule was in 11th place, the best Swiss racer.

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