Skiing: Four to follow on the slopes

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The Independent Online
Alberto Tomba

The king of the hill, he has placed first and second in his first two slaloms. Building for what would be a record fourth Olympic gold in Lillehammer, the big Italian needs the confidence generated by a top World Cup season. With a style uniquely his and a personality to match, he can be expected to fire up the interest of the public in the Games run-up. Joint third in the World Cup table.

Kjetil Andre Aamodt

The hope of the Olympic host nation, this 22-year-old from Oslo has already proven a winner. After suffering glandular fever for two months in 1992, he won gold in the super-giant slalom at Albertville. Two world championship titles last winter should put him on course for a good performance in Norway in February. Second in the World Cup behind the Austrian all-rounder Gunther Mader.

Pernilla Wiberg

The Swede has come back from two major injuries in four years. After recovering from a knee injury in 1989, and an Achilles tendon problem, the 22-year-old Olympic giant slalom holder showed she has lost none of her will and desire. She gained a podium spot last weekend in a giant slalom at Tignes, France, and surprised herself with 13th in the downhill. Fourth and climbing in the standings.

Anita Wachter

The latest in a line of Austrian contenders, she has taken over from where the retired champion Petra Kronberger left off last season. Wachter started with giant slalom wins, and has finished second twice. The defending Cup-holder and current leader can score in three of four disciplines and competes in the downhill just for the practice. Best Olympic placing: second in the 1992 giant slalom behind Wiberg.

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