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St. Anton, Austria Feb. 5 (USSA)–Daredevil skiing by acrobatic Bode Miller (Franonia, NH) produced the fastest second run in slalom Monday night and moved him into fourth place with the combined downhill remaining. “I think I’m in good shape,” he said, referring tohis shot at a medal in the downhill.
ESPN will broadcast coverage Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. EST. Originally, the men’s combined was to be a one-day event, but a weekend ofsnow, rain and more snow forced organizers to shuffle the World Championships schedule; the men’s combined will conclude Tuesdayat noon CET (6 a.m. EST) with the downhill – after the women’s special downhill at 10:30 CET (4:30 a.m.)
Miller, sixth after the first run at St. Anton, tore into the floodlit second run despite soft snow from two days of snow over theweekend and 35-degree temperatures during the day Monday. He was up on one ski a couple of times and had to brake sharply onseveral other occasions to stop from skiing off-course as he finished with a two-run time of 1:32.96, which put him 1:15 behindKjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway’s outstanding all-rounder, who was combined gold medalist at the 1997 World Championships andagain two years ago at Vail ’99; Aamodt also was silver medalist in combined at the ’93 Worlds and ’94 Olympics.
Second and third place in the slalom portion of the two-event event went to Austrians Mario Matt (1:31.95) and Rainer Schoenfelder(1:32.34), who are almost exclusively slalom skiers. Austrian men raced with black armbands to pay tribute to Alois Lipburger,Austria’s jumping head coach who was killed Sunday night in a car crash while returning from World Cup jumping in Willingen,Germany over the weekend.
“I wanted to give it 100 percent, and I did give it 100 percent, so I’m happy with that part of it,” Miller said, “but I also choked in acouple of sections an I was, like, ‘Whooo-a-a-a-a!’ But, still, I gave I everything I had.”
In the second run, with 15,000 spectators cheering wildly and waving a rainbow of flags, the Carrabassett Valley Academy skier ledAamodt, who skied 15th in the flip-15 format, by .24 with Matt another .04 back on the second run.
Casey Puckett (Aspen, CO) – who drew loud cheers when he hiked a gate to stay in during his second run – stood 12th going into thecombined downhill, 7.65 seconds out with Jake Fiala (Breckenridge, CO) in 16th place in the field of 28 racers.