Perfect Pärson adds super-G to downhill win
Sweden’s Anja Pärson confirmed her competitive return to the World Cup circuit by winning the women’s super-G at Saint Moritz in Switzerland on Sunday.
Pärson, the reigning world champion in downhill, super-G and super-combined, held off Canadian rival Emily Brydon and Austrian veteran Renate Götschl to claim her second victory in as many days.
The Swede clocked 1min 15.06sec, leaving Brydon in second place at 0.04sec and Götschl in third at 0.22. Another Austrian, Elisabeth Görgl, missed out on the podium by just 0.01.
After a mediocre start to her campaign the 26-year-old Pärson claimed her first victory of the season in winning Saturday’s downhill here.
Her super-G win Sunday, the 37th World Cup victory in a career which has seen her dominate the series twice, means Pärson now takes the lead of the World Cup and of the super-G standings.
Pärson leads Austrian pair Nicole Hosp, the reigning World Cup champion, and Marlies Schild, last year’s runner-up, in the overall World Cup.
“I’m feeling great on my skis right now, full of confidence,” said Pärson.
“Both races were really close but I managed to come out on top, I was fortunate – unlike at the start of the season in north America.
“I hope it’s the turning point. I think I’m back.”
Brydon was happy with her first podium place of the season, only the fifth of her World Cup career, at the venue where she claimed a first podium, in the downhill, in 2000.
“I had a difficult start to the season but I always knew that I could do something special at Saint Moritz,” said the 27-year-old Canadian.
“It was here that I stepped on to the podium for the first time in the World Cup, I like it here! I gave it everything I had.”
Sweden claimed two gold medals on the final day of the European short course championship in Hungary on Sunday.
Petter Stymne, Marcus Piehl, Per Nylin and Stefan Nystrand broke the 4x50m freestyle relay world record in a time of 1:24.19.
Josefin Lillhage also claimed gold in the 200m freestyle in a Swedish record time of 1:53.55.
Swedish midfield wunderkind Albin Ekdal is set to leave behind suburban Stockholm for a place with Italian giants Juventus.
The 18-year-old from Brommapojkarna has agreed a deal with the Turin side and will complete his move during the summer.
“Albin is definitely one of the best talents I have seen,” Brommapojkarna’s youth coach Tommy Söderström told Dagens Nyheter.
“If he stays injury free and remains motivated I am convinced he could on to become a central midfielder in the Swedish national team who will play in many European Championships and World Cups.”