BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) - The world championships were hit by a second weather issue in as many days as a combination of strong winds and intensifying snow forced organizers to call off the men’s Super-G on Wednesday.
Visibility on the Birds of Prey piste was described as adequate by most of the ski racers but heavy snowfall on both the track and the sides of the course led to a postponement an hour before the scheduled 1 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) start.
The event, the first in the men’s program at Beaver Creek, is expected to be rescheduled for Thursday and an official confirmation is expected later on Wednesday after a team captain’s meeting.
No races had initially been scheduled for Thursday with men’s and women’s downhill training due to take place on the Birds of Prey and the Raptor race courses.
In-form Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud is the gold medal favorite in the men’s Super-G, though defending champion Ted Ligety of the United States will be tough to beat at one of his favorite venues in front of his home fans.
The opening event of the Feb. 2-15 world championships, the women’s Super-G, took place on Tuesday in what American ski queen Lindsey Vonn described as “not 100 percent fair” conditions.
Because of high winds, the race was pushed back 30 minutes and the start lowered before Austria’s Olympic champion Anna Fenninger won gold and defending champion Tina Maze of Slovenia finished second.
Vonn, the pre-race favorite, had to settle for third after struggling with strong headwinds over the top half of the course.
Asked whether she felt the women’s Super-G should have been postponed, Vonn replied: ”I kind of expected that it would happen. It’s tough for the race organizers.
“It’s not bad enough to call it unsafe, it’s just not 100 percent fair. You’ve just got to go with it and do the best you can.”
Conditions are expected to become warmer and sunny at Beaver Creek over the next two days, with the women’s showcase downhill scheduled for Friday when 2009 champion Vonn will be bidding for her third gold medal at the worlds.
“I‘m looking forward to Friday when it’s supposed to be really good weather so hopefully we’ll have a nice, fair race and I’ll able to get another medal,” said Vonn.
Editing by Frank Pingue