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World Cup skiing showdown sees Fenninger, Hirscher win big

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By Euronews
World Cup skiing showdown sees Fenninger, Hirscher win big

In this edition of Gravity we go to the French ski resort of Méribel as the World Cup draws to a close. The Giant Slalom was run on the Roc de Fer slope, thought to be the most difficult women’s course at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville. Only a tiny points margin separated Anna Fenninger and Tina Maze so it was hard to predict an overall winner for the Overall title.

Hungry Fenninger

But it was two in a row for Anna Fenninger as she retained her Overall World Cup crown. For the first time the season went down to the final race’s final run. It was a shootout, a duel between two women at the peak of their sport.

Fenninger made merry on Meribel’s Giant Slalom course to win ahead of teammate Eva-Maria Brem, and forcing Tina Maze into third to snatch the Overall crown from the title leader and 2013 champion.

“It was so tough, I mean it was the hardest fight I ever had. Tina was so strong and I was really nervous before the second run. I was on the limit because I felt it during the run, that’s not a good thing when you feel in the run that you are nervous,” said Fenninger.

Maze in a daze

Maze lost out by just 0.46 of a second after leading for most of the season, and saw an 18-point advantage turned into a 22 margin of defeat for the overall crown. Two world championship titles aside, losing this title at the last gasp makes this a tough year.

“I’m not disappointed about today or yesterday. I made mistakes earlier in the season, that was not good. That cost me a lot of points so that’s why I’m disappointed,” said Maze.

Hirscher into the history books

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher became the first male alpine skier to win four straight overall World Cup titles when closest rival Kjetil Jansrud decided to withdraw from the season’s final race, the slalom. But would he be able to leapfrog Germany’s Felix Neureuther atop the slalom standings?

Not content with his four World Cups in a row Marcel Hirscher sealed his Slalom championship with the Crystal Globe in Meribel.

It was his eighth season win, a season in which he has won all the World Cup technical disciplines. His victory means German rival Felix Neureuther loses out at the last.

“I had two options, to ski down there safely and be in second position in the slalom overall standings. Or to give 100% and maybe if I’m lucky I can take this globe as well. I’ve done it pretty good,” grinned Hirscher.

Italian Olympic champion Giuliano Razzoli came second as the slalom eighth-placed finisher pulled out one of his strongest second runs of the world cup season.

While Russia’s  Alexander Khoroshilov was third, over a second off the pace reflecting his third place overall in the slalom event.

Gravity will be back next winter for what should be another thrilling alpine skiing season.