Poor conditions forced race organizers to call off the giant slalom at the Alpine skiing event in Lenzerheide, locking up the overall World Cup title for Germany's Maria Riesch.
Riesch's title came down to the wire
Maria Riesch secured her first alpine skiing overall World Cup on Saturday after the final giant slalom competition of the year was cancelled due to poor conditions in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. This denied American Lindsey Vonn, who was second in the World Cup standings by just three points coming into Saturday, the chance to overtake Riesch.
According to the International Ski Federation (FIS) policy, races called due to weather will not be rescheduled.
"As an athlete, the overall World Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve," said Riesch adding that the World Cup title to her two Olympic and one world championship gold medals. "A big dream has been fulfilled today. Only two German alpine skiers have achieved it before me. I am really proud about that."
Katja Seizinger and Rosi Mittermaier were the previous German World Cup champs.
Policy in question
Vonn said she was "devastated" at not having a chance to win the title
Vonn, who had won the previous three World Cups, was "devastated" at not having the chance to beat her friend and rival Riesch for the title in the final race of the season.
She called for FIS to review its policy of rescheduling events.
Riesch had led the standings for most of the season but Vonn closed the gap and overtook the top spot after beating Riesch in Wednesday's downhill competition. But Riesch bounced back in Friday's slalom competition, beating Vonn and retaking the lead.
Vonn did win World Cup globes for being the best in the individual disciplines of downhill, super-G and combined. Riesch's teammate Viktoria Rebensburg became the giant slalom champion. Saturday's cancellation denied France's Tessa Worley the chance to best Rebensburg.
Author: Matt Zuvela (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
Editor: Sean Sinico