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Winter Sports Roundup

Pranger takes slalom; Miller to sit

Associated Press / February 16, 2009
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Manfred Pranger of Austria won the men's slalom at the World Championships yesterday in Val d'Isere, France, after a succession of challengers failed to finish.

Six of the top 15 racers, including defending overall World Cup champion Bode Miller, failed to finish the first run in the morning, and only two of the top eight skiers from the first run completed the second leg.

Miller will skip two World Cup races in Sestriere, Italy, next weekend, saying he will return to the tour in two weeks. This marks the third straight major championship in which Miller has not won a medal. His best finish was eighth in downhill, when he was slowed by severe fog, and 12th in super-G. He failed to finish his final three races.

Bothered by a bad ankle, Miller has not won a race all season.

"We've been planning this for a while," said Forest Carey, Miller's coach, adding that Miller would head home to New Hampshire. "With the way the season has gone he needs to rest the ankle. His mind needs a rest, too."

Pranger timed 1 minute 44.17 seconds for two runs down the icy Face de Bellevarde course to hold off Julien Lizeroux of France, who finished 31-hundredths of a second behind. Michael Janyk of Canada climbed from ninth to third.

Nordic skiing - Bill Demong of Vermontville, N.Y., won his third World Cup combined event of the season, capturing the 10-kilometer cross-country race in Klingenthal, Germany, by .6 seconds over Jason Lamy Chapuis of France.

Biathlon - Norway's Ole Einar Bjorndalen won his second straight gold medal at the world championships in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after an appeals jury reversed a decision to strip him of the victory for skiing off course. The race jury punished Bjorndalen and several other athletes for mistakenly crossing a small bridge instead of skiing around it at the beginning of the 12.5-kilometer pursuit. The one-minute penalty would have put Bjorndalen in third, but an appeals jury reversed the decision after protests from several national teams.

Snowboarding - Mild weather and soft snow forced organizers to cancel the men's and women's World Cup parallel giant slalom events in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

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