Double win puts Austrian Hirscher closer to Kostelic

Double win puts Austrian Hirscher closer to Kostelic

BANSKO, Bulgaria - Agence France-Presse
Double win puts Austrian Hirscher closer to Kostelic

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher celebrates on podium after winning the Men’s Slalom at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Bansko. AFP photo

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher added the men’s World Cup slalom yesterday to his giant slalom success on Saturday.

The Austrian’s eighth win of season sees him close the gap on overall World Cup leader Ivica Kostelic of Croatia to just 18 points.

While Kostelic is out for several weeks after having surgery on his right knee, Hirscher doesn’t want to start eyeing the crystal globe given to the overall World Cup winner just yet.

“I’m delighted with the points that I’ve won but I don’t want to speculate on the points that I need to win the overall or the globe in the discipline,” said Hirscher, who won an appartment in the ski resort as a result of his weekend exploits.

As with his four previous slalom victories this winter, Hirscher lead from the first run, to finish 0.57 seconds ahead of Swede Andre Myhrer with Italy’s Stefano Gross, one of the revelations of the season, at 0.90.

Austria’s Mario Matt, winner of the slalom here last year, thought he had placed second but was disqualified after the race.

Hirscher, 22, profited from the absence of Kostelic and is also closing in on the Croat’s lead in the slalom standings as he trails by just 35 points.

Kostelic, who attacked his rival earlier this year over a controversial slalom victory in Zagreb by Hirscher where he claimed he should have been disqualified for straddling a gate, said earlier this week he hoped to miss just three slalom races.

Meanwhile, American ski superstar Lindsey Vonn won her second World Cup globe in two days yesterday in Rosa Khutor, Russia, after she was crowned super-combined champion when the event was cancelled because of fog.

The 27-year-old Vonn, who on Saturday won her fifth successive downhill globe, was winning her third successive title in the discipline which disappears from the women’s calendar next season. The 2010 Olympic downhill champion looks all but certain to win the overall World Cup title too as she leads Tina Maze of Slovenia by 448 points.