Perfect timing by Swiss veteran

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The Independent Online
The Swiss veteran Steve Locher kept his three-year World Cup cycle intact by capturing a men's giant slalom at Solden in Austria yesterday, adding to victories in 1990 and 1993.

For Katja Seizinger, victories come more often as she won for the 25th time in the women's race on Saturday - beating the world and Olympic champion Deborah Compagnoni in the process - prior to the start of the World Cup season in the United States on 21 November. She is now tied at sixth on the all-time winners' list with Maria Walliser of Switzerland.

In beating his more consistent team-mate, Michael Von Grunigen, by 0.31 sec, the 29-year-old Locher clocked 2min 3.20sec on a course that dropped 1,184 feet through 42 gates on the first run and 45 on the second. Kjetil- Andre Amodt, of Norway, was third in 2:04.20.

Locher's last World Cup win was a giant slalom nearly three years ago at Alta Badia in Italy and his only other victory was in 1990 in a Super- G at Val d'Isere in France.

"I risked twice as much today and that helped me to win," Locher said. "Now that I have the confidence to be in the first group the next time, I can attack more."

Alberto Tomba, the world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist in the giant slalom, did not enter. He was injured in a fall in training last Tuesday but did not intend to compete here. He may be back in the middle of December as he seeks to cut down his World Cup schedule.

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