Nyberg Takes Gold at World Cup Giant Slalom

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Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Dec. 20, 2001 (AP by Marsha Hill)--Fredrik Nyberg of Sweden posted two powerful and trouble-free runs on Thursday to win a men's World Cup giant slalom.

Nyberg finished in a two-run time of 2 minutes, 1.66 seconds, 0.25 seconds ahead of Benjamin Raich of Austria. Home-crowd favorite Uros Pavlovcic came in third in 2:02.00.

Raich, ninth after the first run, took the lead after his second run only to watch Nyberg go back ahead. The second-place finish signaled the young Austrian's return to top shape after struggles with a back injury.

A tricky gate setting on the traverse going into the final descent was set on an icy patch, and many of the more experienced skiers failed to take cleanly.

Frederic Covili of France, who has won two giant slaloms this season, finished ninth.

Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., was 16th. Overall World Cup leader Stefan Eberharter of Austria was eighth, and giant slalom specialist Michael von Gruenigen of Switzerland finished 18th.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press