Swiss skiers dominate at Alta Badia


MICHAEL Von Gruenigen beat Steve Locher by less than a second at Altu Badia, Italy yesterday, as Swiss skiers completed a one-two finish in the men's World Cup giant slalom.

Italian newcomer Nana Matteo caused a major upset by tuking third place ahead of four Austrians, led home by the overall World Cup leader Hans Knaus.

Von Gruenigen, the reigning giant slalom World Cup holder, was fastest over both runs down the Gran Risa piste, but rapidly extended his lead in the second to clock a combined time of two minutes, 32.66 seconds.

It was the eighth career victory for the 27-year-old, who won both the giant and the slalom bronze medals at this year's world championships in Sierra Nevada.

Locher, who won the season opening giant slalom at Solden - beating Von Gruenigen in another all Swiss finish, timed 2:33.43.

However, it was a disappointing finish for the 29-year-old, who won this event in 1993 and was just two hundredths of a second off the pace after the first run.