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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 22:45 GMT

Jacquet qualifies in top spot

Switzerland's Gilles Jacquet has qualified in first place for the final of the men's parallel giant slalom.

Jacquet,who finished the course at the Park City Mountain Resort in a time of 35.69 seconds, said he knew he should play it safe rather than risk crashing in the lone qualifying run.

However, he found it hard to follow his plan.

"I'm not one who can do a really safe run," he said.

"When my coach says to do 80%, I say 'OK, I'll try,' but then I can't do it."

Alexander Maier, the brother of Alpine skiing legend Hermann Maier, finished in second.

However, the biggest cheer of the day was saved for home favourite Chris Klug.

The American, who is competing at the Olympics 19 months after a liver transplant, finished 11th out of the 16 qualifiers.

"What I've been through has definitely put things in perspective," Klug said.

"But it's my dream to win a gold, and hopefully I'll get that done tomorrow."

Friday's final will see all the qualifiers compete against each other in a knock-out format.

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