Giant slalom bronze for Sweden – but not for Anja

Anja Pärson threw away a great chance for another gold medal in the women's giant slalom on Friday - but fellow Swede Anna Ottosson claimed her first major podium place, storming home for a bronze medal.

The winner was Julia Mancuso, who conquered a brutal, driving blizzard to restore American Alpine skiing pride.

As heavy snow and poor visibility returned to haunt organisers, 21-year-old Mancuso held her nerve to deliver a first giant slalom gold for American women since 1984 when Debbie Armstrong clinched the Olympic title at Sarajevo.

Mancuso’s title was only the second gold of the Games on the slopes for the much-vaunted American team.

Finland’s Tanja Poutiainen took second place behind Mancuso.

After the first run, Anja Pärson lay in second place and said she was confident of improving her position. But a miss at the start of the second run cost her the race.

In contrast, Ottosson was in 13th place after her first run.

“Unreal – after my first run I was ready to pack my bags and go home,” she said to SVT.

Anja Pärson only managed sixth spot but she got little sympathy from Ottosson.

“To be honest I’m actually glad. She has so many medals and I don’t have any,” said Ottosson.