Austria's Manuel Feller speeds down the course during the men's World Championship slalom, in Courchevel, France, Sunday Feb. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/MarcoTrovati)
COURCHEVEL, France — Austrian skier Manuel Feller took the lead with his first run in the men’s slalom at the world championships Sunday.
Feller was 0.13 seconds faster than Lucas Braathen of Norway and AJ Ginnis of Greece, who posted the same time. Linus Strasser of Germany was one-hundredth further back in fourth.
Defending champion Sebastian Foss-Solevaag stood fifth with the Norwegian having 0.35 to make up in the second run. Olympic champion Clement Noel trailed by 0.64.
Lower-ranked skiers were still coming down the L’Eclipse course.
Sunday’s race is the last event of the worlds.
Feller is chasing his country’s first gold medal of the championships. Austria led the medal table with five golds two years ago and has won at least one event at every worlds since 1987.
Feller crashed and hurt his hip during pre-race warmups but seemed unaffected by the incident. He avoided risks on the first steep section after the start but posted the fastest split times in the last two sections.
Braathen, who leads the season-long World Cup standings in the slalom, competed less than three weeks after he underwent surgery for appendicitis. The Norwegian led Feller by 0.41 halfway through his run but lost time on the final part of the course.
It’s Braathen first world championships race after he missed the previous worlds in 2021 following knee surgery.
Ginnis could win the first world championships medal for Greece in any Olympic sport on snow or ice. Two weeks ago, Ginnis became the first skier from Greece on a World Cup podium when he finished second in the last slalom before the worlds.
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