Dave Irwin gave Canada their second World Cup Downhill ski win in three races with a clear cut victory in Schladming, Austria on Saturday (20 December).
GV Plank (Italy) making downhill run and finishing in third place
GV Eberhard (Austria) making downhill run into second place
GV Irwin (Canada) making downhill run and winning event
SV Irwin crossing finishing line to win
Initials NG/1825 NG/1840
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Background: Dave Irwin gave Canada their second World Cup Downhill ski win in three races with a clear cut victory in Schladming, Austria on Saturday (20 December).
Irwin, a bespectacled 20-year-old, was nearly two seconds faster than Klaus Eberhard of Austria and took the lead in the World Cup standings with a run of 2 minutes 8.84 seconds. Victory makes him current points leader in the World Cup competition.
Austria's Franz Klammer was pushed into fourth place. For the first time for nearly two years he has reached the finish in a downhill and been beaten.
Irwin said after the race that he was "really frightened" at times on the 3,510 metre (2.2 mile) course, with its 997 metre (1090 yards) drop.
Austrian honour was saved by 19-year-old Eberhard, a newcomer from Baden, in Austria's normally snowless eastern plains.
Starting 25th, he shot forward to second place by taking the same risks as Irwin. Eberhard was jubilant but a gloomy Klammer said "I was just too slow, I don't know what happened, but I just wasn't good enough. I'll have to do better next time."
Herbert Plank of Italy was third and Switzerland had three skiers in the first ten places.
With the thermometer showing minus ten degrees centigrade (13 Fahrenheit), the race produced high speeds, but few accidents.
It was the second downhill success for the young Canadians ... Ken Read won in Val D'Isere ... and it confirmed them as the most dangerous challengers to Klammer in February's Winter Olympics at Innsbruck.
Irwin started seventh after setting the fastest practice times and showed the all-out aggressive style that is the Canadian team's hallmark.
His average speed was 104.544 kilometres (64.9 miles) an hour, but at times he and the other leaders were clocked at over 130 kilometres (80 miles) an hour.
The course was fast and straight to start, but with a tough test of skiing technique over the last stretch.
SYNOPSIS: Canadian, Dave Irwin, gave Canada their second World Cup Downhill ski win in three races with a victory in Schladming in Austria on Saturday.
The skiers faced temperatures of minus ten degrees centigrade and the downhill course was fast and icy. The third place-getter was Italian skier, Herbert Plank, seen here on his final downhill run. He was among fifty-two skiers taking part in the event.
One of the race's big disappointments was Austria's Franz Klammer. For the first time in nearly two years, he was beaten in a downhill final. He finished fourth.
But Austrian honour was saved by nineteen-year-old Klaus Eberhard who took second place. He shot forward after lying in twenty-fifth place by taking the same risks as Irwin. Eberhard is from Baden, in Austria's normally snowless Eastern plains. He's relative newcomer to downhill skiing.
Eberhard has emerged as one of Austria's most promising young skiers.
But twenty-year-old Dave Irwin won with a clear cut victory. He completed the course in two minutes point eight four seconds. Afterwards he admitted he was really frightened on the three-and-a-half thousand metre course, with its nine-hundred and ninety-seven metre drop.
Irwin started seventh in the race after setting the fastest practice time and showed the all-out aggressive style that is the Canadian team's hallmark.
Irwin averaged speeds of a hundred and four kilometres an hour, and earned the Canadian team's second downhill win in three races. They'll be dangerous challengers in February's Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.