On the last day of World Cup ski competition in Naeba, Japan on Thursday, France had a second much-needed victory.
On the last day of World Cup ski competition in Naeba, Japan on Thursday, France had a second much-needed victory. Jean Noel Augert emerged triumphant in the slalom race which saw most of his major rivals eliminated by falls.
Earlier in the week, teenager Daniele Debernard won the women's slalom in convincing style to give the French team new hope as it heads for the final World Cup series at Heavenly Valley, California next week.
Augert was second after the first run, behind teammate Claude Perrot. But Perrot failed to complete the second run. Only 28 out of the 73 entrants recorded times for both runs on the very steep course. Augert's total time for his two runs on the course was one minute 50.34 seconds.
Among those who failed to complete both runs was defending champion gustavo Thoeni of Italy, who caught his ski on flag near the start of his first run. But Thoeni still holds his lead in World Cup competition, because his closet rival, David Zwilling of Austria laos fell, to remain seven points behind the Italian in the standings.
Christian Neureuther of West Germany was second in the slalom, just 1.50 seconds behind Augert's combined total for the two runs.
SYNOPSIS: One the last day of the World Cup ski competition in Naeba, Japan on Thursday, large crowds watched as the steep slalom course took its toll from some of the best skiers in the world.
Only twenty-eight of the seventy-three entrants finished both runs of the event. Defending champion Gustavo Thoeni of Italy dropped out early in his first run after catching a ski on one of the flag markers on the course.
Christian Neureuther of West Germany, after a first run of just over fifty-six seconds, started his second run with a confident stride, but did not seem to have the rhythm needed on a slalom course. But his down-hill time, just a fraction slower than his first run, was sufficient to give him second place in the final standings.
Jean Noel Augert of France started his second run of the slalom competition with just a slightly slower time than his teammate Claude Perrot. This run by Augert, combined with Perrot falling during his second run, gave Augert victory in the event. Even though Augert seemed tired towards the end of the run, his total time of one minute 50.34 seconds was almost two seconds ahead of Neureuther.
For Augert, and the French team, this victory gives a needed boost to hopes of overcoming their recent slump.