Shiffrin rar­ing to go, FIS con­fi­dent for races

Kuwait Times - - Sports -

PYEONGCHANG: Amer­i­can Mikaela Shiffrin ad­mit­ted that de­spite rar­ing to get her Olympic quest for a mul­ti­ple medal haul un­der way the de­ci­sion to post­pone yes­ter­day’s wind-lashed slalom was the cor­rect one.

Gust­ing winds forced the In­ter­na­tional Ski Fed­er­a­tion (FIS) into post­pon­ing a third race of the alpine pro­grame after the men’s down­hill and women’s gi­ant slalom were also resched­uled. “It is un­for­tu­nate that we weren’t able to race to­day, but it is im­por­tant we have a fair race for all of the ath­letes,” said Shiffrin, who could re­al­is­ti­cally tar­get at least four medals in Pyeongchang.

“To­day’s con­di­tions would def­i­nitely not have been fair.” Shiffrin, who won Olympic slalom gold in Sochi at the age of 18 — a year after bag­ging the first of her world ti­tles, was ac­cept­ing of the strongs winds that have been buf­fet­ing the Jeongseon and Yong­py­ong ski sites for the Pyeongchang Games. “Weather de­lays and post­pone­ments are just the na­ture of an out­door sport,” said the Amer­i­can, who has racked up 55 vic­to­ries on the World Cup cir­cuit. “We’ll con­tinue to take it day by day and I look for­ward to get­ting in the start gate!”

Atle Skaardal, chief race di­rec­tor for women’s FIS races, said he was op­ti­mistic of stag­ing both the gi­ant slalom and slalom to­day and Fri­day re­spec­tively. “It was a long and dif­fi­cult day to­day,” said the for­mer Nor­we­gian racer, twice a su­per-G world cham­pion.

“We felt that the only right thing to do in the end was to go for reschedul­ing.” Skaardal added that FIS had “a very good op­por­tu­nity” of host­ing the two women’s races on “favourable days for the fore­cast”.

“We hope we can have races un­der de­cent, ac­cept­able con­di­tions. “Every­one’s very ea­ger to get some rac­ing done. “We hope for calm winds to­mor­row,” he added, warn­ing that it was “too much to hope for wind­still”.


Paul Kristofic, head coach of the US women’s team, said it was just a ques­tion of rolling with the punches.”Every­one is a lit­tle bummed out when a day like this hap­pens, but they do hap­pen, so we’re quite used to it,” said Kristofic, who with Shiffrin and speed queen Lind­sey Vonn on his team will be hop­ing for a ma­jor medal haul. “When you have gusty winds like that, it is dif­fi­cult to have a fair race, and the weather fore­cast called for winds to in­crease through­out the af­ter­noon, right around our pro­posed start time for both runs, so that was a red flag for of­fi­cials as well. “We’ve been through days like this be­fore, in the World Cup, quite of­ten and the num­ber one thing is safety and the sec­ond thing is to have a good, fair race.

“Nei­ther of those were achiev­able to­day. “We roll with the punches and make the best of the sit­u­a­tion and try to pre­pare the best we can for the next day.” The of­fi­cial fore­cast FIS is using pre­dicts a down­turn in tem­per­a­tures on Thurs­day, dip­ping to -14 de­grees Cel­sius (6.8 Fahren­heit) with wind­chill at the 10:00 am (0100 GMT) start of Thurs­day’s first leg of the gi­ant slalom, with a much de­creased wind speed of 14.7km/h.

Fri­day is pre­dicted to be even colder (16C), with the start of the slalom due to kick off with winds of 25km/h, ac­cord­ing to the Korea Metro­log­i­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tion. “I wish you all good luck to­mor­row and us as well, I hope we can have a great race day on the hill,” Skaardal signed off to the cap­tains of the women’s teams in Yong­py­ong.

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