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Hirscher defends Adelboden slalom title

Hirscher defends Adelboden slalom title

Austrian Marcel Hirscher defended his World Cup slalom title here on Sunday for a fourth victory on this season’s international ski circuit.

Hirscher timed a combined total of 1min 51.75sec over the two runs, 0.30sec ahead of teammate Mario Matt, with Italian Manfred Moelgg taking the final place on the podium, 0.62sec adrift.

It was a remarkable turnaround for Hirscher, who had endured a terrible first run that saw him clock only the eighth fastest time, a massive 0.87sec off interim leader Moelgg.

But the Austrian’s aggression on the second run paid off as he blasted to 55.23sec, 0.83sec ahead of his nearest rival, American David Chodounsky, who eventually finished 10th.

The victory, a career 16th, meant Hirscher consolidated his position atop the overall World Cup standings on 855 points, with Norwegian speed specialist Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who did not race, in second on 729.

American Ted Ligety stands third on 676pts.

“My best race of the year was possibly in Saturday’s giant slalom,” Hirscher said. “But I made a massive mistake. I was furious.

“Today, it was the opposite. I made a mistake in the first run and I wasn’t used to being in eighth place. For most of the time this year, it’s been me who’s led after the first leg.

“The situation was different. After the first run, I decided to go all out. I was very lucky because it’s always 50-50. When you ski two legs like that, in general you bomb out.”

Second-placed Matt praised Hirscher for having kept his nerve.

“Victory was possible for me but I didn’t take enough of a risk at the end of the second run,” he said.

“Skiers like Marcel take maximum risks. Marcel’s not a machine, his first leg shows that he’s not always at the top. But to be seventh or eighth after the first leg makes you take every risk.”

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