FIS considers rule change for delayed ski races
SCHLADMING, Austria -- The International ski federation is considering a rule change for dealing with delayed races following the disputed women's super-G on the opening day of the world championships.
Thick fog forced organizers to repeatedly postpone the Feb. 5 event. The race finally began at 2:30 p.m. after a delay of 3½ hours but had to be called off after 36 starters because of darkness and new clouds of fog moving in.
The results of the race stood because the first 30 racers had started their run.
"There are discussions going on," FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper told reporters on the final day of the worlds. "It's not the first time. ... The thing which hurt most here was that we had to go 15 minutes by 15 minutes. If you had gone hour by hour nobody would have complained."
Tina Maze of Slovenia won the race, during which Lindsey Vonn went down with a season-ending knee injury and favorites Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany and Anna Fenninger of Austria struggled with the conditions and skied out.
Early starters had to wait at the start gate in their boots with the race potentially starting every 15 minutes.
"I know it was hard for our athletes, this waiting time," Kasper said. "But it was a fair race at the end."
Kasper said women's race director Atle Skaardal kept using short delays to be able to start the race as soon as the air cleared and visibility became sufficient in order to not "lose the competition."
"Of course we were unlucky at the end," Kasper said. "But the race was absolutely regular in regard to our rules. We always have such things -- postponed races and canceled races -- that's part of your sport. We are out in the nature. We cannot decide before exactly how we should (go). This is skiing."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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