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The next medal chance for the Swiss

18 February 2017: For the last discipline of the World Ski Championships agility and speed are key. The favourites for the title in the Ladies' Slalom are Mikaela Shiffrin and Wendy Holdener but also Veronika Velez Zuzulova and Frida Hansdotter. And as you may very well expect, it will be very tight.

Wendy Holdener (Agence Zoom)

The History: Next to the Downhill the classic discipline, which was represented in the world championships right from the beginning. In addition to the very fast, the very slow-racing, which is mainly about balance and speed. Even in modern times, there are still women who can win in both disciplines, such as Tina Maze and Lindsey Vonn who have succeeded in doing this. At the first WSC 1931, the 17 year old British racer Esmé MacKinnon won in the Downhill and the Slalom. In World Cup times this trick was succeeded by Croatian Janica Kostelic (2005).

The Requirements: The difference in length of course from top to bottom must be between 140 and 220 metres, 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 155 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 for the top 15 racers is carried out by a draw. 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 to attack. Nevertheless, it is a demanding and fair race for all racers. Tight finish times are expected amongst the favourites.

The Title-Holder: Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) became the world champion for the second time in a row on home snow at the WSC in Vail. Frida Hansdotter (Sweden) won silver, Sarka Strachova (Czech) bronze. Charlotte Chable was, in 15th place, the best Swiss skier. The last Swiss world champion in this discipline was Vreni Schneider in 1991.

The Favourites: Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) has won eight of the last ten World Cup Slalom races. Wendy Holdener was in six out of seven races this winter on the podium and is ever closer to her biggest rival. Who of course can forget Veronika Velez Zuzulova (Slovakia) and the increasingly stronger Frida Hansdotter (Sweden)? At the World Cup final 2016 Shiffrin won ahead of Velez Zuzulova and Hansdotter, Holdener was fourth.

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