Ted Ligety claims first Cup victory of season

Ted Ligety claims first Cup victory of season

SOELDEN, Austria- Agence France-Presse
Ted Ligety claims first Cup victory of season

United States’ skier Ted Ligety celebrates on the podium his first place of the men’s giant slalom during the FIS Ski World cup in Sölden, Austria. AFP photo

American skier Ted Ligety secured the men’s first World Cup victory of the season in the giant slalom yesterday for his second successive win in Soelden.

The 28-year-old, who won here last year, won in an overall time of 2min 36.02sec, Italy’s Manfred Moelgg was second timing 2:38.77 and reigning overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria was third with a time of 2:39.14.

The opening weekend of the season had been overshadowed by the death on Friday of 23-year-old Austrian skier Bjoern Sieber in a car crash.

The Austrian competitors wore black armbands in memory of their colleague.

Ligety, who has 12 World Cup wins to his credit, was already second after the first run in the morning, despite having skied in extremely difficult conditions.

Skiers had to battle through heavy snowfall and poor visibility in the second run, causing Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, Sweden’s Andre Myhrer and Switzerland’s Marc Berthod to ski off the course.

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, runner-up in the overall World Cup rankings last year, had decided against competing on Sunday.

The morning’s first run, which saw Frenchman Thomas Fanara record the fastest time although he ended up fourth overall, had already been in doubt due to the poor weather.

Although it started on time, some skiers complained, arguing that late starters had the advantage of perfect sunny weather, whereas early ones were plagued by continuing snowfall and fog.