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The organisers of the 1997 Alpine skiing world Championships, due to be held in the Italian resort of Sestriere, yesterday voiced their concern over the decision to postpone this year's event by 12 months. The biennial championships, due to start on Sunday, have been put back by a year because of a lack of snow in Spain's Sierra Nevada, Europe's southern-most ski resort. The Italians suggested that space should be found later this winter to hold the event in Sierra Nevada.

NORDIC SKIING WORLD CUP Men's 15km freestyle cross-country race (Lahti, Fin): 1 V Smirnov (Kazak) 37min 31.2sec; 2 B Daehlie (Nor) 37:57.6; 3 J Isometsa (Fin) 37:59.6. World Cup standings: 1 Daehlie 560; 2 Smirnov 370; 3 A Prokurorov (Rus) 278. Women's 4x5km freestyle cross-country race: 1 Russia I 55min 15.0sec; 2 Russia II 56:08.3; 3 Norway 56:20.2. Women's World Cup standings: 1 Russia 2,767pts; 2 Norway 1,079; 3