Razzoli claims slalom gold
Italy bag first gold of the Games at Whistler
Last Updated: 27/02/10 11:11pm
Razzoli: 'Fantastic' win
Giuliano Razzoli clinched gold for Italy in the men's Olympic slalom, pushing Ivica Kostelic into the silver medal position and Andre Myhrer into bronze.
Razzoli had just over half a second in hand over his rivals after the first run and the 25-year-old held his nerve to clock a combined total of 1min 39.32 seconds, 0.16sec ahead of Kostelic with Myhrer a further 0.28sec adrift.
It meant further disappointment for defending champion Benjamin Raich, who finished in fourth place ensuring Austria's powerful men's team would leave Vancouver without a medal.
"It's a dream because I've been training a lot for this day. It's incredible," said Razzoli.
"It's been a long time coming, the last time Italy had a medal in the slalom was in 1992, and now in 2010, it's fantastic."
Kostelic was winning his second silver medal after he finished second in the super-combined.
"I really like to ski in these conditions," he said. "It's spring snow, but we always train in this kind of weather.
"This result means, realistically speaking, that I had two chances for medal in the super-combined and slalom and I took both."
There was drama on the first run as 10 of the top-30 skiers crashed out in difficult conditions including Bode Miller, who was searching for a fourth medal of the Olympics.
The American straddled the fifth gate to end his hopes of adding to his super-combined gold, super-G silver and downhill bronze.
"I just hooked a tip and it's obviously disappointing when you're fired up and you're skiing well and everything's there," Miller said. "You go out of the gate with the intention of absolutely maximizing every turn.
"It was over before I even had much chance to know what my skis were doing on that snow. I wasn't pivoting. I wasn't sliding the ski at all. That's a little bit indicative of my lack of time on slalom skiing because I might have known that my skis would do that if I'd had more training."
1. Giuliano Razzoli (Italy) 47.79 51.53 1:39.32
2. Ivica Kostelic (Croatia) 48.37 51.11 1:39.48
3. Andre Myhrer (Sweden) 49.03 50.73 1:39.76
4. Benjamin Raich (Austria) 48.33 51.48 1:39.81
5. Marcel Hirscher (Austria) 48.92 51.28 1:40.20
6. Mitja Valencic (Slovenia) 48.22 52.13 1:40.35
7. Manfred Moelgg (Italy) 48.64 51.81 1:40.45
8. Julien Cousineau (Canada) 49.59 51.07 1:40.66
9. Julien Lizeroux (France) 48.82 51.90 1:40.72
10. Reinfried Herbst (Austria) 49.23 51.55 1:40.78