Kummer wins Lienz giant slalom

Kummer races to victory in Lienz on Friday Keystone

The Swiss skier, Lilian Kummer, raced to the first World Cup victory of her career in Friday's giant slalom in Lienz, Austria.

This content was published on December 28, 2001 - 15:18

Kummer, who hails from canton Valais, took the first podium place with a combined time of 2:12.06, just ahead of Italy's Karen Putzer, who came second in 2:12.09.

The 26-year-old Swiss star's previous career best was a fifth-placed finish in last January's giant slalom in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

"I'm very surprised that I won," Kummer said after the race, "and I think my trainers will be too."

"It hasn't sunk in yet. Maybe I'll take a shower and scream when I'm alone in the room," she added.

Sweden's Ylva Nowen and Anja Paerson tied for third place with a time of 2:12.14 to share the final podium position.

Nef skies out

Switzerland's Sonja Nef was unable to match her compatriot's performance on the slopes of Lienz. The overriding favourite to win the race skied out of Friday's giant slalom after charging the gate too head-on.

"I tried to take the speed down with me," she said, "but there was a wave before this treacherous spot."

"I made the turn too late and was then too direct for the next gate," she admitted.

The Swiss racer's elimination in the first leg was all the more surprising as she had won the last giant slalom in Val d'Isère earlier this month and had finished second and third in the season's previous two races.

Cavegn finishes fourth

Meanwhile in Bormio, Italy, the Swiss skier, Franco Cavegn, took fourth place in the men's World Cup downhill race.

Cavegn narrowly missed out on a podium finish after his Austrian rival, Stephan Eberharter, stole ahead to take third place.

The podium line-up turned into an all-Austrian affair, with Eberharter's compatriots, Christian Greber and Fritz Strobl, securing first and second place respectively.

Italian organisers increased safety measures for the race in response to a crash during the season's opening downhill event in Val d'Isère, which left the Swiss skier, Silvano Beltrametti, paralysed from the waist down.

Safety nets

Four rows of safety nets were put up along the most difficult sections of the course.

Greber mastered the icy Stelvio course in a combined time of 1:54.33. Cavegn trailed the race winner by just 0.72 seconds.

The Swiss star was just a tenth of a second quicker than fifth-placed Kristian Ghedina, who won at Val Gardena before Christmas.

Though the Austrians refused to share podium space with any other skiers, the Swiss put in a strong overall downhill performance.

Bruno Kernen came in seventh on 1:55.63, while fellow Swiss Ambrosi Hoffmann ended the race in ninth place with a time of 1:55.95.

Lower down the results table, Markus Herrmann, Didier Cuche and Rolf Von Weissenfluh finished 21st, 22nd and 23rd.

swissinfo with agencies

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