Kostelic biggest favorite for last title event

20 February 2011 07:10

The Ski World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkichen will conclude with the men’s slalom. The first run kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Gudiberg Arena and second run action continues at 1.30 p.m.

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic is the big favourite to win gold in the last title event on Sunday. The Croatian stood on the podium five times during the World Cup season, winning two out of five slaloms and placing second twice. Kostelic already won bronze in the World Championship super G and then left Garmisch-Partenkirchen to go home for training and recovery purposes. „With two good runs, I stand the chance for a medal but I need to have two flawless runs,” says Kostelic before the race.

Jean Baptiste Grange of France is also one of the big medal contenders. The French landed on the World Cup slalom podium four times this season claiming three victories. He is currently first runner-up in the slalom discipline ranking behind Kostelic while second runner-up Sweden’s Andre Myhrer is also a medal threat for the slalom on Sunday. He has captured three podiums in the 2010/11 season although only winning once.

Behind these three racers, who are the top favorites for a podium finish, the second Swedish racer Mattias Hargin has been skiing well this season with two third place finishes placing him in fifth place in the slalom discipline ranking.

Unfortunately, Austria will have to enter the race without its biggest medal hope Marcel Hirscher who is among the many injured Austrians that are unable to compete in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

For Germany the World Champs have not been overly successful before heading into the final event. Local hero Felix Neureuther only stands outsider chances to win a medal in the concluding slalom event with two six place finishes as his best results this season. However, Neureuther, who won the slalom at Gudiberg at the World Cup finals last year, may be able to step it up a notch when being cheered on from top to bottom by the home crowd.