Alpine skiing: Austrian coach sets super-G course, Austrians win medals

Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:00am EST
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By Annika Breidthardt

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - As seven of the first eight starters skied out during Saturday's super-G, eyebrows were raised. They went higher when Austrians grabbed the gold and bronze medals.

For Austrian coach Florian Winkler had set the course that proved too big a challenge for 18 of the 49 women.

"I'm not saying it was easy for (the Austrians). But maybe it was easier," Italy's Daniela Merighetti, who started third but did not make it to the finish line, told reporters.

"It's not easy to stay on track because the setting is very turny and very slow at the top."

Austria's Anna Fenninger, who failed to finish Wednesday's downhill, took gold ahead of Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch who claimed her second medal after winning the super-combined. Fenninger's team mate Nicole Hosp finished third.

The last jump heading into the steep final stretch took the biggest toll and almost cost Hoefl-Riesch a medal when she jumped too far and nearly missed a gate.

"It was not a perfect run but it was a matter of not making too many mistakes," Fenninger said. "It was just a course to attack. That's what we Austrians like, what we train for and what we have to do in the race. It was a good course."


Austria's Anna Fenninger clears a gate during the women's alpine skiing Super G competition at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich