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Fog hands Svindal downhill Alpine skiing World Cup

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway clears a gate during his first run of the men's Giant Slalom event at the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Kranjska G
Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway clears a gate during his first run of the men's Giant Slalom event at the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Kranjska G

By Manuele Lang

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Fog on the piste forced organizers to cancel the men's downhill at the Alpine skiing World Cup finals on Wednesday, handing Aksel Lund Svindal the discipline's crystal globe for the season.

The last men's downhill of the campaign scheduled for 0930 local (4.30 a.m. ET) was put off several times in the hope of better visibility while the women's downhill due to take place at 6 a.m. ET on the same piste was automatically postponed as well.

Fog was still hanging over the bottom section of the course four hours after the scheduled start, forcing the organizers to call it a day.

Downhill world champion Svindal thus retained his 58 point-lead in the specialty's World Cup over last year's winner Klaus Kroell of Austria.

But it was a mixed satisfaction for the Norwegian.

While he snatched his first globe in the sport's blue riband event, Svindal failed to score points because of the cancellation and now his chances for the overall World Cup crown are in serious jeopardy.

With only three races left, including the slalom in which he does not take part, the Norwegian still trails Austria's Marcel Hirscher by 149 points, a gap the defending big globe holder seems almost certain to retain in the giant slalom and slalom at the weekend.

A decision on the women's downhill was expected later.

In the women's downhill World Cup, injured American Lindsey Vonn still leads Slovenia's overall champion Tina Maze by one point in the standings.

(Reporting by Manuele Lang; Editing by Mark Meadows)

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