The Swiss ladies alpine skiers receive a new head coach after four years

17 March 2010 20:51

Following poor results in the slalom and giant slalom races this season and after failing to win any Olympic medals in Vancouver, Switzerland's ski federation has decided to replace the ladies head coach Hugues Ansermoz by Mauro Pini.

The 45-year-old Pini was the personal coach for Switzerland's Lara Gut, who won silver in both the downhill and super combined at the 2009 World Championships in Val d'Isère, France, but was sidelined from Vancouver by a dislocated hip. Pini has also helped guide Didier Défago to an Olympic gold medal in the downhill and Didier Cuche to the overall World Cup title in the same event. He will replace Ansermoz after one season working with the men's speed team.

In an attempt to breathe new life into the ladies team for Sochi 2014, it was decided to bring in Mauro Pini, while Swiss Ski noted that Ansermoz's achievements had been mostly in the speed disciplines as he helped place ten Swiss women on the podium this season, including two World Cup victories in the super-G.

Little progress was made in the technical events. At the Olympics, the best showing for the Swiss ladies alpine skiers was Fabienne Suter's fourth place finish in the giant slalom. She also took fifth in the downhill.

Ansermoz, who was Canada's women's coach until 2006, was criticized by the Swiss press since the blank sheet in the flagship sport in Vancouver last month. The ladies returned empty-handed in contrast to the men's three medals and World Cup titles for Didier Cuche and Carlo Janka.