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Park City, UT (AP) — Bode Miller was seventh fastest on the first run of the men’s giant slalom Thursday morning–nearly a second behind leader Stephan Eberharter.
Miller was just a tenth of a second behind the third-fastest skier _ leaving him in good shape to become the first U.S. male medalist in the event.
“I’m in good enough position. I can go faster than that,” Miller said after the first run.
The second run was set for later Thursday.
Eberharter, an Austrian who already has silver and bronze medals at the Salt Lake City Games, finished the winding course in 1 minute, 11.98 seconds.
Massimiliano Blardone of Italy was second in 1:12.72, but hurt his ankle when he slammed into the finish area fence. An Italian coach said he expected Blardone to compete in the second run.
Norway’s Lasse Kjus was third fastest in 1:12.79.
Miller, the first racer on the course Thursday, finished in 1:12.89. He seemed to get a poor start on the flat opening section, and seemed unusually tame on certain parts of the course.
Erik Schlopy, a Park City resident, slid past a gate and had to climb back up the hill to get back on course. He finished in 1:24.06 _ more than 12 seconds behind Eberharter.
Men’s Giant Slalom
February, 21, 2002, Park City, UT
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 1:11.98
2. Massimiliano Blardone, Italy, 1:12.72
3. Lasse Kjus, Norway, 1:12.79
4. Christoph Gruber, Austria, 1:12.82
5. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:12.83
7. Bode Miller, USA, 1:12.89
21. Dane Spencer, USA, 1:14.03
28. Thomas Vonn, USA, 1:14.59
72. Erik Schlopy, USA, 1:24.06