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  Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 17:27 GMT
Kostelic claims men's slalom
Ivica Kostelic
Kostelic just hung on for victory
Croatia's Ivica Kostelic has won the men's slalom at the final event of the World Ski Championships.

He emulated his sister Janica by claiming the slalom gold - and his first major race medal - at St Moritz in Switzerland on Sunday.

It is the first time a brother and sister have both won gold medals at a major alpine skiing championships.

The home crowd had something to cheer about as well when Silvan Zurbriggen finished with a silver medal, from a start bib of 25. Giorgio Rocca from Italy was third.

I was on the edges a lot, I saw that Zurbriggen had had a super run

Ivica Kostelic

In an exciting finale to the championships, 23-year-old Kostelic saw his huge first run lead all but wiped out as the top 30 competitors raced in reverse order.

However he clung on to win the gold despite making a number of mistakes on the rutted piste.

Kostelic said afterwards: "I had to take a lot of risks.

"I was on the edges a lot, I saw that Zurbriggen had had a super run.

"Before the race we had a chat and I told him that he would win today. He said it would be difficult to beat me.

"I told that if I win, he'd be second and that's what happened."

Mixed news for Baxters

American Bode Miller was seeking his third gold medal from a memorable championships.

He finished sixth depsite losing a ski pole on the first run.

But the season is fast becoming one to forget for British skier Alain Baxter, who crashed out on the first run.

The 29-year-old was hoping for a top performance after his nightmare year.

Last February, he finished third in the men's slalom at the Winter Olympics only to have his bronze medal taken away for failing a drugs test.

I'm really happy - the first run was a really good run

Noel Baxter

Baxter was in 13th position at the split time in Switzerland before he fell.

But there was brighter news for his younger half-brother Noel.

He finished 24th after qualifying for a top-30 second run from a start position of 40th.

Noel told Ski Sunday: "I'm really happy. The first run was a really good run.

"I've been struggling with my back and have not been able to train.

"I have had to take it really easy but today I had a lot of aggression to blank out the pain."

There were 123 competitors tackling the Corviglia course but many were caught out on the steep section as only 86 made the second run.

Top 10 slalom result:

1. Ivica Kostelic, Croatia, 1 minute, 40.66 seconds (50.81-49.85).
2. Silvan Zurbriggen, Switzerland, 1:40.99 (51.53-49.46).
3. Giorgio Rocca, Italy, 1:41.02 (51.15-49.87).
4. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:41.12 (50.97-50.15).
5. Manfred Pranger, Austria, 1:41.25 (51.05-50.20).
6. Bode Miller, United States, 1:41.54 (51.71-49.83).
7. Kalle Palander, Finland, 1:41.90 (51.41-50.49).
8. Tom Stiansen, Norway, 1:42.11 (51.76-50.35).
9. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 1:42.27 (51.79-50.48).
10. Markus Larsson, Sweden, 1:42.29 (52.46-49.83).

The 2003 World Ski Championships from St Moritz

Race reports

Competition
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