St. Moritz 2017 concluded with a thrilling men’s slalom under fantastic weather conditions, where the Austrians were the dominant team with Marcel Hirscher claiming the gold medal ahead of teammate Manuel Feller. Germany’s Felix Neureuther grabbed bronze.
Not a single cloud in the sky, a compact race track, the best athletes in the world and thousands of spectators; all conditions were gathered for an excellent concluding day at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz. The one that used those conditions the best and claims another World Champion title is Marcel Hirscher. The Austrian was the favourite entering today’s slalom and lived up to all the hype to walkaway with two gold (slalom and giant slalom) and a silver (alpine combined) medal.
“It’s perfect,” Hirscher said after the race. “Sun is shining, great conditions today and the skiing was in all pretty good. Austria is pretty stoked with another two podiums. The young guns are kicking my ass during the training runs so I am very grateful for this, it has helped me to improve myself every training run.”
After the first run, all four Austrian athletes were sitting in the Top 7, with behind Marcel Hirscher Marco Schwarz in second, Michael Matt in third and Manuel Feller in seventh. The good spirit within the Austrian slalom team definitively proved to be prolific, as at the end of the race, it’s a double win for Austria with younggun Manuel Feller holding on to the pressure and earning his first career podium. It’s a relief for Feller, who was barely qualified for the World Championships as he finished only three of the eight World Cup slaloms he participated in this season.
The other surprise of the day came from Felix Neureuther. Not that a podium comes as a surprise for the German, he already won two World Championships medals in slalom and podiumed twice in slalom in this World Cup season, but because he was sitting in eights position after the first run. The experienced German had a sensational second run, which was enough to lift him to the bronze medal. It was the first medal for Germany at these Championships, saving the country from going home from St. Moritz empty handed.
Finishing in fourth place was Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, who has been going head-to-head this season against Hirscher in the slalom standings, but could not find his rhythm in St. Moritz at these World Championships and will head home empty handed.
Hirscher closed the World Championships with an amazing three medals, leading all athletes. He earned gold in the slalom and giant slalom and took silver in the alpine combined, missing the gold by a mere 0.01 seconds.
Today’s Austrian success also lifted the nation to first place in the St. Moritz 2017 final medal standings with nine medals. Host Switzerland led throughout the Championships, but after going home today empty handed, had to settle for second place with seven medals. Both alpine nations earned three gold medals in total.
St. Moritz World Ski Championships Medals