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Alpine Skiing at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games:

Women's Giant Slalom

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Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Whistler Creekside, Whistler
Date Started: February 24, 2010
Date Finished: February 25, 2010
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: GER Viktoria Rebensburg
Silver: SLO Tina Maze
Bronze: AUT Elisabeth Görgl

Summary

The eighth alpine skiing event at Vancouver, the women's giant slalom, had several favorites – Kathrin Hölzl, Tanja Poutiainen, Kathrin Zettel, and Tina Maze. Six of seven races in the giant slalom World Cup season had been held with Hölzl in the lead after two wins in Aspen and Lienz. Zettel was second with a win in Maribor and Maze was third. Poutiainen, the 2008-09 giant slalom World Cup winner and silver medalist from Torino in 2006, won the first race of the winter in Sölden and also the last World Cup race in Cortina about one month before the Olympics, while Tessa Worley won in Åre. Hölzl was also the reigning world champion from Val d'Isère in 2009 where Maze took silver and Poutiainen bronze. Also competing was Julia Mancuso, the gold medalist from Torino, who had already won two silver medals at this Games in downhill and Super Combined, but the bronze medalist from Torino, Anna Ottosson, had retired in 2007. Also absent was the 2006-07 giant slalom World Cup winner, 2007 world champion, and fourth-place finisher in Torino, Nicole Hosp, who sustained an ACL tear in her right knee on 24 October 2009 after a fall in the first race of the season in Sölden.

With fog covering the majority of the upper part of the course, and a large field, the organizers decided to start the skiers on the first run at shorter intervals than would normally be expected. Kathrin Zettel, with a time of 1:58.28, set the early pace, which was then beaten four skiers later by Taina Barioz by 0.14 seconds. Barioz held the lead until the 16th skier down, Elisabeth Görgl, who took the lead by 0.02 seconds. The next racer, downhill winner Lindsey Vonn, caught an edge in the snow and crashed out of the course. Unfortunately the defending champion, Julia Mancuso, had already started her run when Vonn crashed, so she had to stop around a third of the way down the course. Having to start her run later, and in poorer conditions, a distraught Mancuso could only finish 1.30 seconds behind Görgl in 18th place, effectively ending her chance.

However the drama didn't end there. Deteriorating weather conditions first delayed the start of the second run, then caused its postponement to the following day, the first time this had happened since 1980, when the event was then scheduled over 2 days.

Weather also affected the second run, particularly the later starters. A brave performance by Mancuso, with what was to be the third fastest time of 1:11.24 in the second run, gave her a combined time of 2:27.66, temporarily putting her into the lead and eventually placing her eighth overall. Her lead held for some time until Fabienne Suter bettered this time with a combined total of 2:27.52. With six of the top ranked skiers to go, Viktoria Rebensburg produced a good run to give her the lead with 2:27.11. Tina Maze, following immediately afterwards, appeared set to take the lead for much of the course, but fell just 0.04 seconds short at the end to move into second place. The overnight leader, Elisabeth Görgl, briefly threatened Rebensburg's time, but finished 0.14 seconds behind to take the bronze medal. The fastest time of the second run belonged to Denise Karbon, the 2007-08 giant slalom World Cup winner, in a time of 1:11.15, but a poor first run left her down in 23rd place.

Among the favorites, only Maze won a medal with silver. The other medalists were surprises. The 20-year-old Rebensburg had never won a World Cup race before, but had won the Super G in 2008 and 2009, as well as the giant slalom in 2009 at the World Junior Championships. Görgl had only made the team the day before when she bumped out Super G Olympic champion Andrea Fischbacher in an Austrian team qualifier. Rebensburg also won the first medal for ski manufacturer Nordica, while Maze won silver with Stöckli, and Görgl bronze on Head skis. Of note in this event is also Cynthia Denzler, Colombia's first ever competitor in a Winter Games – sadly she did not finish her first run. However she was to have better luck in the slalom a few days later when she finished 51st.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Viktoria Rebensburg 20 Germany GER Gold 2:27.11
2 Tina Maze 26 Slovenia SLO Silver 2:27.15
3 Elisabeth Görgl 28 Austria AUT Bronze 2:27.25
4 Fabienne Suter 25 Switzerland SUI 2:27.52
5 Kathrin Zettel 23 Austria AUT 2:27.53
6 Kathrin Hölzl 25 Germany GER 2:27.58
7 Eva-Maria Brem 21 Austria AUT 2:27.62
8 Julia Mancuso 25 United States USA 2:27.66
9 Taïna Barioz 21 France FRA 2:27.79
10 Maria Höfl-Riesch 25 Germany GER 2:27.97
11 Anémone Marmottan 21 France FRA 2:28.00
12 Olivia Bertrand 21 France FRA 2:28.13
13 Tanja Poutiainen 29 Finland FIN 2:28.17
14 Sarah Schleper 30 United States USA 2:28.36
15 Michaela Kirchgasser 24 Austria AUT 2:28.40
16 Tessa Worley 20 France FRA 2:28.54
17 Manuela Mölgg 26 Italy ITA 2:28.66
18 Federica Brignone 19 Italy ITA 2:28.68
19 Ana Drev 24 Slovenia SLO 2:28.83
20 Nicole Gius 29 Italy ITA 2:28.87
21 Marie-Michèle Gagnon 20 Canada CAN 2:28.89
22 Anja Pärson 28 Sweden SWE 2:28.90
23 Denise Karbon 29 Italy ITA 2:29.37
24 Maria Pietilä-Holmner 23 Sweden SWE 2:29.63
25 Britt Janyk 29 Canada CAN 2:29.79
26 Kajsa Kling 21 Sweden SWE 2:29.93
27 Chemmy Alcott 27 Great Britain GBR 2:29.94
28 Shona Rubens 23 Canada CAN 2:30.25
29 Marie-Pier Prefontaine 21 Canada CAN 2:30.51
30 Sanni Leinonen 20 Finland FIN 2:32.44
31 Jessica Lindell-Vikarby 26 Sweden SWE 2:32.71
32 Megan McJames 22 United States USA 2:32.98
33 Jelena Lolović 28 Serbia SRB 2:34.54
34 Carolina Ruiz 28 Spain ESP 2:35.07
35 Jana Gantnerová 20 Slovakia SVK 2:35.73
36 Tea Palić 18 Croatia CRO 2:36.12
37 Lyaysan Rayanova 21 Russia RUS 2:36.95
38 María José Rienda 34 Spain ESP 2:37.45
39 Nevena Ignjatović 19 Serbia SRB 2:37.51
40 Mariya Shkanova 20 Belarus BLR 2:40.38
41 Žana Novaković 24 Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH 2:40.79
42 Anna Berecz 21 Hungary HUN 2:40.87
43 Chirine Njeim 25 Lebanon LIB 2:41.61
44 Bohdana Matsotska 20 Ukraine UKR 2:41.98
45 Macarena Simari Birkner 25 Argentina ARG 2:42.02
46 María Belén Simari Birkner 27 Argentina ARG 2:42.38
47 Yina Moe-Lange 16 Denmark DEN 2:43.67
48 Nicol Gastaldi 19 Argentina ARG 2:43.78
49 Kim Seon-Ju 24 South Korea KOR 2:44.58
50 Kirsty McGarry 24 Ireland IRL 2:45.20
51 Liene Fimbauere 21 Latvia LAT 2:46.93
52 Maja Klepić 21 Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH 2:50.34
53 Sophia Ralli 21 Greece GRE 2:50.61
54 Yelizaveta Kuzmenko 22 Belarus BLR 2:50.89
55 Sophia Papamichalopoulou 19 Cyprus CYP 2:51.86
56 Tuğba Daşdemir-Kocaaga 24 Turkey TUR 2:53.47
57 Gaia Bassani Antivari 31 Azerbaijan AZE 2:56.87
58 Kseniya Grigoryeva 22 Uzbekistan UZB 2:57.22
59 Xia Lina 22 China CHN 2:58.89
60 Marjan Kalhor 21 Iran IRI 3:05.39
AC Andrea Jardi 19 Spain ESP DNF
AC Mireia Gutiérrez 21 Andorra AND DNF
AC Noelle Barahona 19 Chile CHI DNF
AC Ornella Oettl 18 Peru PER DNF
AC Šárka Záhrobská-Strachová 25 Czech Republic CZE DNF
AC Veronika Zuzulová 25 Slovakia SVK DNF
AC Nika Fleiss 25 Croatia CRO DNF
AC Ana Jelušić 23 Croatia CRO DNF
AC Lindsey Kildow-Vonn 25 United States USA DNF
AC Andrea Dettling 23 Switzerland SUI DNF
AC Alexandra Coletti 26 Monaco MON DNF
AC Zsófia Döme 17 Hungary HUN DNF
AC Mariya Kirkova 24 Bulgaria BUL DNF
AC Agnieszka Gąsienica-Daniel 22 Poland POL DNF
AC Yelena Prosteva 19 Russia RUS DNF
AC Nino Tsiklauri 16 Georgia GEO DNF
AC Mona Løseth 18 Norway NOR DNF
AC Maya Harrisson 17 Brazil BRA DNF
AC Sofie Juárez 18 Andorra AND DNF
AC Matea Ferk 22 Croatia CRO DNF
AC Petra Zakouřilová 31 Czech Republic CZE DNF
AC Ani-Matilda Serebrakyan 21 Armenia ARM DNF
AC Cynthia Denzler 26 Colombia COL DNF
AC Lyudmila Fedotova 23 Kazakhstan KAZ DNF
AC Tiiu Nurmberg 28 Estonia EST DNF
AC Anastasiya Skriabina 24 Ukraine UKR DQ