Source: Agencies | 2013-2-7 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
American Ted Ligety speeds down the course during the men's super-G at the world championships in Schladming yesterday.
AMERICAN skier Ted Ligety picked the right occasion to win the first super-G of his career, becoming the discipline's world champion in Schladming, Austria, yesterday.
Ligety, the best giant slalom specialist on the Alpine ski circuit and ready to defend his world crown in the shorter discipline next week, made the best of a course suiting his technical skills to win in one minute 23.96 seconds.
It was his third major title after the combined Olympic gold in Sestriere, Italy, in 2006 and the giant slalom world gold in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, two years ago.
"It's wonderful. I can't believe it. It was a tough race, slippery with tough turns but I kept fighting. I think my love for free skiing must have helped me today in those difficult conditions," said Ligety, whose only World Cup podium in a super-G was second place in Val d'Isere, France, three years ago.
"Last year I was not so lucky here, losing the giant slalom globe in the last race, but this is for sure a sweet moment. It means a lot to me and to the US team after the hard crash of Lindsey Vonn yesterday," he added.
Olympic champion Vonn broke her shin and tore knee ligaments in a tumble during the women's super-G on Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season.
The technical nature of the men's course on the Planai piste also favored unheralded Frenchman Gauthier De Tessieres, who took silver despite entering the competition as a reserve. The 31-year-old from Clermont-Ferrand, also a giant slalom specialist, came on to the start list after teammate Johan Clarey was forced out with a back injury two days before the start of the championships.
De Tessieres, who had only one World Cup podium place behind him, finished 0.20 seconds behind Ligety for the highlight of a career plagued by injuries. "Five days ago, I was down in the dumps at home. Unfortunately, Johan got injured. It's an odd feeling. But I really meant to do well, I was eager," he said.
Olympic champion and favorite Aksel Lund Svindal had to be content with the bronze, 0.02 behind the Frenchman, for his ninth medal in a major event.
It was the worst result in the speciality this winter for the Norwegian, who has won three of the four World Cup super-Gs held since November and finished second in the other.