SCHLADMING, AUT (Feb. 15, 2013) — On a day when USA superstar Ted Ligety claimed his third gold medal of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, two young Canadians were left to reflect on the lessons learned from a tough day at the hill.
Phil Brown, of Toronto, Ont., finished 35th on Friday while Dustin Cook, of Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que., did not finish his second run as both skiers struggled to get to grips with a very challenging giant slalom course.
“It’s always a good experience to get World Cup and world championship starts but I’m a little disappointed with how it went,” said Brown, 21, who clocked a two-run combined time of two minutes, 39.84 seconds. “I think I just need to work a little bit more on my giant slalom. I’ve been struggling a little bit lately. Hopefully I can take something positive from this and move forward.”
Brown and Cook were 35th and 39th, respectively, after the first run. With the top 60 getting a second run – instead of the standard 30 in World Cup races – both men got a shot at redemption.
“I wasn’t too happy with the first run. The (course) is really tough, the snow is tough. I just really didn’t ski that well,” said Brown, who excelled in Tuesday’s team event as Canada narrowly lost out on a bronze medal. “The team event was a blast. We had a lot of fun – the four of us together. Today didn’t go so well. I think I had more mistakes in the second run but maybe more attack. I need to change some things.”
The challenging course created a lot of separation in the first run. Ligety took a 1.3-second lead into the second run over Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal and Ligety was 5.64 seconds ahead of the 30th-place finisher. Brown was 6.61 seconds back of Ligety after the first run, while Cook trailed by 7.05 seconds.
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher sat third after the first run but put all the pressure back on Ligety with the fastest second run of the day to clock a two-run combined time of 2:29.73. Ligety wouldn’t be denied, though, as he coasted to victory with a two-run combined time of 2:28.92. Italy’s Manfred Moelgg claimed bronze with a time of 2:30.67. Cook, meanwhile, struggled to find any rhythm in his second run and skied out.
“Right out of the gate I was kind of behind it and never really got into it,” Cook, 23, said of his first run. “It was definitely a leg burner at the bottom. You could probably see that in my skiing, too – it wasn’t how I wanted it to be. It’s a very challenging hill and you watch guys like Ted and they make it look so easy.”
Pete Bosinger, head coach of the men’s team, wasn’t happy with the way the Canadians performed Friday.
“It’s a first world championship for both of those guys but at the end of the day, it’s still a ski race,” Bosinger said. “We are here to see top performances. They are much better skiers and much better athletes than they (showed today). There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”
Next up at the world championships is Saturday’s ladies’ slalom, which is set to feature Erin Mielzynski, of Guelph, Ont., Marie-Michèle Gagnon, of Lac-Etchemin, Que., Elli Terwiel, of Sun Peaks, B.C., and Brittany Phelan, of Mont-Tremblant, Que. The world champs conclude Sunday with the men’s slalom. For a complete TV schedule visit http://www.alpinecanada.org/tv.
FEB. 15, 2013 – SCHLADMING, AUT – FIS ALPINE WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS – MEN’S GIANT SLALOM
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