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Alpine Skiing Sunday, 17 February, 2002, 02:23 GMT
Eberharter turns on team
Stephan Eberharter
Eberharter struggles to stay on the super-G course
Stephen Eberharter has blamed Austrian team officials for his defeat in the men's super-G.

The pre-race favourite finished in the silver medal position, one-tenth of a second shy of Kjetil Andre Aamodt's winning time.

Eberharter was up at the final split before a mistake in the last section ruined his chances.

"I should have had more information about what could happen to me in the last steep slope," he fumed after the run.

The Austrian alpine team have endured a torrid time in Salt Lake and critcism from their leading skier will do little to raise team morale.

As well as Eberharter, Renate Goetschl has also failed to live up to expectations in the women's events.

The team's only gold came in the men's downhill - ironically at Eberharter's expense - courtesy of the unfancied Fritz Strobl.

I only got partial information

Stephan Eberharter
Eberharter hid his frustration at finishing third behind his team-mate after that setback, but following the mistake in the super-G he turned on the officials.

The 32-year-old admitted that he came into the final gates, after the Buffalo Jump, too hard and too straight which forced him to brake and lose vital time.

However, he added that he should have been radioed more detailed course information prior to starting his run.

"It was a great race until the final steilhang (steep slope)," Eberharter said.

"There was a problem with communication because the only thing I was told was that you can't go full blast - which was something I knew myself.

"They didn't tell me exactly what would happen if I went a little too fast, or a little too tight on this last very steep slope.

"There should have been a little more information about the that last steep slope.

"I got every information possible at the start except for that, and that's where I lost the gold. I'm angry but that's life I guess."

Stephan Eberharter
Eberharter realises he has missed out - again
Despite insisting that he was let down, Eberharter did admit that he could not place all the blame at somebody else's door.

"Let's not overdo it," he added.

"I knew what was in store for me, after all we are the ones who have to ski so we can't rely 100% on what we are being told."

Strobl, who finished the super-G outside the medals in fourth, said that he had received enough information, but conceded that "maybe it wasn't described well enough".

Austrian officials attempted to throw cold water on the whole affair.

"I understand this if he is frustrated," said Peter Schroeksnadel, president of Austria's Alpine ski federation.

"As a racer you want to win and if you don't you are unhappy.

"We were close to gold but Aamodt had a big race.

"He started third and so he had no information at all. No one could send him any information, so he really deserves the gold.

"I think eventually Stephan will be happy with silver. He is a fair sportsman," Schroeksnadel concluded.

Eberharter has one last chance to win an Olympic gold at Salt Lake in Thursday's giant slalom, which he will again start among the favourite.


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See also:

16 Feb 02 | Alpine Skiing
Aamodt clinches super-G title
16 Feb 02 | Alpine Skiing
Aamodt on another level
13 Feb 02 | Alpine Skiing
Aamodt wins combined title
10 Feb 02 | Alpine Skiing
Strobl strikes gold in downhill
Links to more Alpine Skiing stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to more Alpine Skiing stories

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