L Alpine skiing

Timon Haugan can hardly believe his luck. © APA / GEORG HOCHMUTH

In the last slalom: This Norwegian breaks a strange taboo

The slalom season in the World Cup ended on Sunday afternoon. In Saalbach-Hinterglemm, the final dance took place in Stangenwald – and a curious taboo was broken.

33 men's races have been held so far this season and, curiously, there has never been a Norwegian winner. That is actually unimaginable, after all, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Henrik Kristoffersen & Co., some of the world's best skiers come from the Scandinavian winter sports country. Injuries, material problems, poor form and bad luck in the race ensured that the Norwegians never ended up at the top this year - until Sunday.

In the last slalom of the season, 27-year-old Timon Haugan saved his nation's honor and took Norway's first win of the season at the World Cup final - and the first triumph of his career. Haugan beat Manuel Feller in Salzburger Land by 40 hundredths of a second, while third place went to the German Linus Straßer.

Feller is celebrated by 14.000 fans

Even before the last slalom it was clear that Feller would secure the small crystal ball. The North Tyrolean came into the top 5 in all ten races in this discipline - an outstanding rate. Feller was therefore right to be celebrated by the almost 14.000 fans in Saalbach, after all it was the first crystal of his career.

Manuel Feller (left) congratulates Timon Haugan. © ANSA / GIAN EHRENZELLER

Meanwhile, there was a conciliatory conclusion for Alex Vinatzer, who finished his last race of the season in eighth place. This year, the native of Val Gardena repeatedly had problems in the slalom – his flagship discipline – and achieved his best result of the season (5th place) in the giant slalom. However, 8th place is a respectable result at the end.

Vinatzer and the technicians are now going on a well-deserved vacation, while the speed specialists will compete in their final races in Saalbach next weekend.


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