Angelo Weiss of Italy won his first World Cup title yesterday in Chamonix, France, denying Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt a chance at one of skiing's most distinctive marks.
Leading after the opening run, Aamodt appeared on the brink of collecting his first slalom victory. That would have made him only the fourth skier in World Cup history to win all five Alpine events.
But Aamodt was unable to hold his .25-second lead. Weiss, rallying from seventh place in the opening leg, produced the day's fastest run down the Kandahar course to win with a total time of 2 minutes 1.27 seconds. Aamodt settled for second, in 2:01.71.
"It's an extraordinary day," Weiss, 30, said after his first career win. "I am very proud of myself."
SPEEDSKATING: Olympic double medalist Chris Witty swept all four races for the second straight year and Nick Pearson captured his first men's title in the U.S. Sprint Speedskating Championship in West Allis, Wis.
Witty, who won a silver medal in the 1,000 meters and a bronze in the 1,500 meters at the 1998 Olympics, finished first again in the 500 meters (37.96) and 1,000 meters (1:19.62). She also won both races Saturday.
Rebecca Sundstrom was second in all four races and in overall points, 161.765 to 158.530 for Witty.
Pearson won the 1,000 in 1:11.99 and finished second to Joey Cheek in the 500 with a 37.37 clocking. Cheek won the 500 in 37.13 and placed second in the 1,000 at 1:12.66.
The races also determined spots for U.S. skaters in the world sprint championships on Feb. 26-27 in Seoul. Pearson and Cheek qualified along with Witty, Sundstrom, Amy Sannes and Elizabeth Ochowicz.
WOMEN'S SLALOM: Slovenia's Spela Pretnar put together two near-perfect runs to capture her second slalom title of the season. Pretnar mastered the tight curves at the bottom of a flat icy Groetchen slope in Berchtesgaden, Germany, better than anyone else in the wide-open race for the overall slalom title, finishing her two runs in 1:33.31.
SKI JUMPING: In Engelberg, Switzerland, Germany's Martin Schmitt won his second 120-kilometer World Cup event in as many days. Schmitt, who easily took Saturday's victory, posted the day's two longest jumps for a total score of 247.3 points.