Alpine skiing: Hirscher finishes year with slalom win

Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:07pm EST
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By Patrick Lang

MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) - Austria's Marcel Hirscher finished 2012 in style with his second victory of the winter in a floodlit slalom in Madonna di Campiglio, his last race of the year.

The reigning overall World Cup champion won both runs and destroyed the field in the night's second leg to win in a combined time of one minute 42.50 seconds.

The race was marred by the death of a 70-year-old steward, who suffered a heart attack during the first run.

Hirscher, who finished on the podium in all seven technical races held this winter, left second-placed German Felix Neureuther 1.67 seconds adrift.

His consistency and his second win of the season, after success in the giant slalom at Val d'Isere 10 days ago, lifted the Austrian to second in the overall World Cup standings, 54 points behind Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal.

"I gave it more than 100 percent. All in all, it was an awesome second run," said Hirscher.

"Now I'm looking forward to Christmas... I can devote some time to my girlfriend," he added.

While the speed specialists will resume skiing with a downhill in Bormio on December 29, Hirscher will not race before New Year's Day at a city event in Munich.   Continued...

Marcel Hirscher of Austria (R), who won the race, celebrates with Naoki Yuasa of Japan, who placed third, after the men's World Cup slalom race in Madonna di Campiglio, northern Italy, December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini