Alpine

Austria Reigns as Chodounsky Takes Top 15

by
Courtney Harkins
2017-02-19 07:11
 

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 19, 2017) – David Chodounsky was the leading American skier in the final day of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz, finishing 12th in the slalom. But it was the Austrians' day, who went 1-2 with Marcel Hirscher taking an easy win.

It was another beautiful, sunny day at St. Moritz with the track holding up nicely, despite warmer temperatures. While the first course was a classic rhythmic slalom, the second run was the opposite—full of rhythm changes and tough combinations. But Hirscher made it look simple, finishing .68 seconds ahead of his teammate Manny Feller. Felix Neureuther of Germany, who sat in 10th after a tough first run, put the hammer down in the second run to step onto the podium in third.


Marcel Hirscher stands atop the podium with teammate Manny Feller in second and Felix Neureuther in third. (Getty Images/AFP-Fabrice Coffrini)

It was Hirscher’s third medal—and second gold—of the World Championships. He won the giant slalom earlier in the week and was second in the alpine combined. And his slalom win was clutch—Austria’s medals broke the medal-count tie with Switzerland, leaving Austria in first overall with nine medals to the home country’s seven.

Chodounsky, who had his best-ever giant slalom finish on Friday, came into the race with confidence, but had a little mistake first run and struggled with the tricky second run. “I got to take the positives from today,” said Chodounsky, who had DNFed in the previous three World Championships he competed. “Best (World Champs) I’ve had for sure—I’ve had some pretty bad luck in World Champs previous years. It’s been a blast. I’ve skied well; I’ve learned a lot about myself. The confidence is coming back and I still have another race in Kranjska (Gora). Go there, hammer, qualify for Aspen—that’s my goal.”


David Chodounsky skis to 12th. (Getty Images/AFP-Fabrice Coffrini)

Rounding out the Americans, Mark Engel (Truckee, CA) took 34th with Robby Kelley (Starksboro, VT) 39th. Michael Ankeny (Deephaven, MN) did not finish first run. 

With the World Championships wrapped, the men’s speed team heads to Kvitfjell, Norway for two downhills and a super G, while the tech team prepares for Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, before the tour finishes at the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colorado.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • David Chodounsky was the top American in 12th place.
  • Marcel Hirscher of Austria won the slalom gold—his third medal of the Championships and his seventh career World Champs medal.
  • It is Hirscher’s second World Championships slalom title. He also won in Schladming in 2013.
  • Austria won the World Championships medal count with nine medals to Switzerland’s seven.
  • The World Cup tour resumes next week in Kvitfjell, Norway for speed events.

QUOTES

David Chodounsky
My top was really good, I did exactly what I wanted, and then I kind of wussed out down bottom. I thought it was going to turn a little harder, but it didn’t; it ran easier than I thought it would. I backed off and skied a little slower than I like. But I made it down, pretty solid. After January, I had a struggle finishing. If I could get top 15 here, I’d consider that a success.

I like the rhythm changes (in the second run). The biggest thing is that I thought it was going to ski a little slower, a little tougher down bottom, but it didn’t—it was actually quite controlled and you could push down there. I could have skied faster.

I had two good runs—a little mistake first run. I’m in the points, which is huge, I needed that. I got to take the positives from today. Best (World Champs) I’ve had for sure—I’ve had some pretty bad luck in World Champs previous years. It’s been a blast. I’ve skied well; I’ve learned a lot about myself. The confidence is coming back and I still have another race in Kranjska (Gora). Go there, hammer, qualify for Aspen—that’s my goal.

RESULTS
Men’s slalom