HENRIK KRISTOFFERSEN CONFRONTED WITH SNOWBALLS

HENRIK KRISTOFFERSEN CONFRONTED WITH SNOWBALLS

Shortly before Hirscher won a World Cup night race on Tuesday, his Norwegian rival had snowballs thrown at him by spectators during his final run.

 

None of the projectiles hit Kristoffersen but the Norwegian was furious as he reacted with wild arm gestures after crossing the finish. “That was disrespectful. That was not cool at all,” said Kristoffersen, adding the incident distracted him but did not cost him the victory.

 

Hirscher, the Austrian six-time overall champion, built on his first-run lead to win by 0.39 seconds. In the final slalom before the Pyeongchang Olympics, he and Kristoffersen were far ahead of the field as third-place Daniel Yule of Switzerland was 2.13 seconds behind.

 

“I would not have beaten him even if there were no snowballs. Marcel was better today. We are in a league of our own, this battle is really great,” said the Norwegian, who beat Hirscher in a slalom in Kitzbuehel two days ago. Together they have won seven of the season’s eight World Cups in the discipline. “One time I am ahead by a few hundredths, the next time Marcel is ahead by a few hundredths. Let’s see what happens at the Olympics,” Kristoffersen said.

 

Hirscher, who didn’t see the incident from the starting gate, apologized to Kristoffersen immediately after the race. “I feel very sorry for Henrik,” said Hirscher, adding that “99.9 percent” of the 41,000 spectators were great fans. “But it’s a little bit of a shame that we also have such spectators who do this.”

 

The incident sparked an outcry on social media, and women’s overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin said on Twitter that “throwing snowballs or any other kind of obstruction at racers while they are skiing to throw them off is not only disgusting, but dangerous".

 

Source: www.japantimes.co.jp

editor

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