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FIS Newsflash articles 2010
Wintry Levi stages great slalom opening
The Audi FIS Ski World Cup continued at Levi (FIN) last weekend. On Saturday, in the ladies' Slalom Opening, it was Marlies Schild (AUT) who put down an outstanding 2nd run to snatch victory from Maria Riesch (GER). The German star had led by 0.58 seconds over young teammate Katharina Dürr after the first run, looking set to claim her 3rd victory at Levi where she had already won in 2009 and 2004. However, she lost time in the steep part of the 2nd run after having still led clearly at the first intermediate time. Tanja Poutiainen rounded out the podium on home snow ahead of the younger of the Riesch sisters, Susanne, who delivered the 2nd fastest 2nd run to climb up to 4th from 10th place after the first run.
On Sunday, Jean-Baptiste Grange of France made a superb comeback after injury that caused him to miss nearly the entire season to take his 2nd Levi victory. Last time he won at Levi in 2008, Grange went on to claim the World Cup slalom title. Sunday's slalom was Grange's first complete World Cup race since he injured his knee last December at Beaver Creek. After having built a clear lead in the first run, Grange skied solidly setting the 2nd fastest 2nd run to win over Andre Myhrer of Sweden. Myhrer posted the fastest 2nd run to move from 4th to 2nd place. Ivica Kostelic (CRO) completed the podium.
The Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Levi reached its goal with the men's event on Sunday, in temperatures below -10C, gathering an audience of around 6'000 people on site after the ladies' race on Saturday had already broken the daily spectator record with over 10'000.
"Including the audiences of all side events, we recorded a total crowd of 22'000 people," estimates General Secretary Mikko Saarinen.
For the organizers, the star of the weekend was undoubtedly Tanja Poutiainen. "Tanja reaching the podium in front of a record audience! That is the best reward for us, too. At the same time, the Levi Race still has unused potential".
Jouni Palosaari, the head of the organizing committee, is happy with the great weather conditions. "First we got good cold weather for the preparation of the slope. Then it snowed just before the race, which made the scenery white. And Sunday we had some sunshine for the live international broadcast."
For more Levi coverage, visit fisalpine.com