Felix Neureuther takes the win in Yuzawa Naeba
Today's men's Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom concludes a very successful event in Yuzawa Naeba. Thanks to the hard work of the Organising Committee and the numerous motivated volunteers, Japan could offer a great experience and an interesting course to the World Cup and its tech teams.
One of the athletes has a special relationship with the Yuzawa Naeba, since his father was on the podium there 41 years ago; it's Felix Neureuther. The German earned his first win this season in today's slalom and is relieved to finally climb on the first step of the podium.
"It's of course a very, very good feeling," said Neureuther. "It was a tough race today, it started raining in the second run. You guys were so unlucky with the weather, one meter of fresh snow and then it became so warm and you guys did a really great job."
Sweden's André Myhrer finished 2nd, only +0.05 off Neureuther's pace. The 3rd of Alta Badia's Parallel Giant Slalom struggled to be constant in Slalom (4xDNF), but it looks like he found the key today.
"It was a tough day," said Myhrer. "First run was good visibility and second run we had really bad visibility and water on the goggles and didn't see much. I've been struggling for a while in slalom and I feel happy to be back on the podium. It was a tough day, but I managed to stay in the track and create some speed anyway and it was almost the top."
With Marcel Hirscher out after first run (straddled in the upper part), Austria was eager to get a revenge and three young guns did particulary well: Marco Schwarz (3rd +0.24), Marc Digruber (5th +0.54) and Michael Matt (6th +0.62)
"In the first run, I was in 12th position and I thought that I must go and push more," said Schwarz. "Now I am third place and it's great. When I came here, I thought it would be great for slalom and giant slalom. In the slalom, I like the flat parts, so that's my favorite."
It's now time for the World Cup to move back to Europe. The speed teams are heading to Chamonix for a Downhill and an Alpine Combined, while the tech athletes will meet again in Stockholm for a City Event.