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Janka wins giant slalom in Val d'Isère

International Herald Tribune 15.02.2009 18:32
Switzerland's Carlo Janka on Friday. (Sergey Ponomarev/The Associated Press)

Switzerland's Carlo Janka on Friday. (Sergey Ponomarev/The Associated Press)

Carlo Janka of Switzerland won the men's giant slalom at the World Championships on Friday to add to his bronze medal in the downhill.

Janka's combined time was 2 minutes, 18.82 seconds for his two runs down the Face de Bellevarde course.

Benjamin Raich of Austria finished second, 0.71 behind, and Ted Ligety of the United States was third, 0.99 back.

It was an emotional victory for the 22-year-old Janka, who is the regular roommate of Daniel Albrecht and his closest friend on the Swiss team.

Albrecht woke Thursday from a three-week induced coma at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, after sustaining lung and brain injuries when he crashed heavily in downhill training at Kitzbuehel on Jan. 22.

Albrecht won silver in the GS at the last worlds and had been scheduled to defend his world title in the super-combined here.

The 22-year-old Janka, known as "Iceman" in Switzerland for his laid-back personality, was deeply affected by the accident. He raced at Kitzbuehel only after long talks with the Swiss team coaches.

Janka was widely favored for the GS after finishing his preparations at Veysonnaz, Switzerland, earlier this week. He relishes the technical Bellevarde slope, taking bronze in Saturday's downhill and winning a World Cup GS race here last December.


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