Skiing: Austrian delight

ALEXANDRA MEISSNITZER, Renate Gotschl and Michaela Dorfmeister will never be mistaken for the Spice Girls but they still managed to strike a blow for Girl Power in Beaver Creek, Colorado, yesterday.

The Austrian trio, led by Meissnitzer, finally put one over on the all- conquering Austrian men, when they swept the medals in the women's super- G at the Alpine World Championships. It marked the first time in 35 years that Austria had filled a podium at a major event, but more importantly it bettered the men's gold-bronze in their super-G on Tuesday.

"This is the first time in a long time that we've done better than the men's team," said Meissnitzer, who finished 0.03 seconds ahead of Gotschl to claim her first world medal. "It's a good feeling."

Johnny Moulder-Brown, the 20-year-old Londoner, has withdrawn from the championships after damaging a cartilage during a giant slalom event in St Moritz last week.

The four members of the British Land Alpine Ski Team who will be competing in the technical events, Alain Baxter, Ross Green, Emma Carrick-Anderson and Chemmy Alcott, flew to the States yesterday to join their team-mates Andrew Freshwater and Tessa Pirie, who have been competing in the downhill events.

Results, Digest, page 29