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Solid Swiss showing in Kvitjfell

Defago recorded his best ever World Cup finish on Friday

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss men's skiing team have put in some strong performances at the latest World Cup downhill race in Kvitjfell. Although Austria's Hermann Maier won the Norwegian event, Switzerland ended up with three places in the top six.

Didier Defago was the highest placed Swiss skier, taking fifth place after coming in a third of a second behind Maier. The result marked a senior career best for the 23-year-old from canton Valais.

Franco Cavegn and Silvano Beltrametti finished just three hundredths of a second behind Defago to grab joint sixth place.

All three Swiss skiers profited from the bizarre disqualification of America's Daron Rahlves who had originally finished in fourth place but had his points taken away for illegally tying the knots on his racing bib.

Maier was the only Austrian to make it on to a podium completed by Germany's Florian Eckert and Norway's Lasse Kjus. Maier's compatriot Fritz Strobl took fourth place following Rahlves' disqualification.

Four other Swiss athletes finished in the points. Didier Cuche took 12th spot, while Markus Herrmann, Steve Locher and Paul Accola came in 18th, 20th and 21st respectively.

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