Skiing: Baxter set to do battle

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The Independent Online
THE THIRD day of racing at The 1999 British Land National Championships in Tignes, France, was hampered by heavy snowfall for the second consecutive day.

Too much new snow led to the cancellation of the junior downhill, which was rescheduled from Wednesday, and the ladies' and men's Super-G trophy. However, the international team parallel slalom challenge took place, with Great Britain One and Two taking the first and second ahead of Scotland One, who took third.

Today's weather forecast is good for the start of the technical disciplines, with the ladies' and men's slalom ahead of the ladies' and men's giant slalom on Saturday.

The men's slalom holder, Alain Baxter, and Emma Carrick-Anderson, the leading woman at the discipline, will compete in their first events here and look favourites to take the slalom titles.

Baxter, who has been competing on the World Cup circuit, is hopeful of retaining the overall men's championship title. Despite the cancellation of the Super-G, Andrew Freshwater, the winner of the downhill title on Tuesday, is determined to defeat Baxter for the overall title, however.

Freshwater must finish in the top five in today's slalom if he is to regain the overall title, which he won in 1997, but with a strong contingent of British athletes attending this year's championships, Freshwater knows there is no margin for error.

Carrick-Anderson arrived in Tignes yesterday evening after a successful race in Elbigenalp, Austria, on Wednesday, where she took sixth place in a World Cup field to score her highest FIS points of the season. She has crossed the Alps in order to compete in the British championship slalom, before returning to Austria for World Cup events.

Carrick-Anderson, who has been training with the Finnish Alpine team this season, will be looking to retain her British women's slalom title ahead of the World Championships, which begin at the end of the month.