Skiing: World titles for Marlies Schild and Ted Ligety

Marlies Schild led an Austrian 1-2 in Saturday’s slalom, the final women’s event at the World Championships, according to

The veteran, who took silver in the 2003 and 2007 championships, was favourite to take gold and duly went one better with a composed second run after leading from the outset.

Schild made the most of a favourable number one starting bib to post the fastest time in the morning run with the powdery piste making life difficult for later skiers. She held a lead of 0.21 seconds after the first descent and her combined time of one minute 45.79secs bettered team-mate Kathrin Zettel’s effort by 0.34.

Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner took the bronze a further 0.31secs behind, denying Maria Riesh of Germany a third medal of the championships.

Schild’s victory means the Aus­trian team claimed the gold medal in four of the five women’s events following the two wins by Elisabeth Goergl plus Anna Fenninger’s super-combined success.

“I still can’t believe it at the moment,” said Schild, whose boyfriend Benjamin Raich suffered a knee injury on Wednesday. “Everything has happened over the past few days, first Benni’s injury and today victory. American Ted Ligety claimed his due as the best giant slalom specialist around when he won the world title on Friday.

The American, winner of the discipline’s World Cup in 2008 and last year, crowned years of consistent giant-slalom performances with the title, winning in a combined time of two minutes 10.56 seconds on the Kandahar course.

Fourth after the first run, the skier from Salt Lake City added a second gold medal to his collection after the one for the combined he won at the Turin Olympics in 2006. Ligety, 26, won the first three giant slaloms held this winter to lead the speciality’s World Cup standings. “Obviously the Olympic gold means more to me because there was a notion of surprise whereas I won three GS’s this season and even though I didn’t rate myself as the favourite not making the podium would have been a bit bizarre,” Ligety said.

Late-blooming Frenchman Cyprien Richard, winner of his mai­den World Cup race in Adelboden last month, took the silver medal, 0.08 seconds behind.

Bronze went to Austrian Philipp Shoerghofer, who took advantage of the absence through injury of team mates Marcel Hirs­cher, Benjamin Raich and Hannes Reichelt and finished 0.43 seconds adrift. He had won the last World Cup giant slalom before the worlds in Hinterstoder.

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