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France’s Tessa Worley Wins World Ski Giant Slalom Gold Medal

Tessa Worley won the women’s giant slalom at the world alpine skiing championships, giving France its first gold medal in the event in 20 years.

Worley was fastest in both runs on the Planai course in Schladming, Austria, with a total time of 2 minutes, 8.06 seconds. Defending champion Tina Maze of Slovenia was 1.12 seconds behind in second place, with Austrian Anna Fenninger another 0.06 seconds back in third.

“It was a very tough course and I had to concentrate on myself only, letting my skis go and not do too many mistakes,” Worley, 23, said on the skiing World Cup website. “It feels great.”

Carole Merle won France’s last women’s giant slalom world title in Morioka, Japan, in 1993. It’s the second gold for the French team at this year’s championships, after Marion Rolland took the women’s downhill, and moves it to the top of the national standings with four total medals.

Worley led Austria’s Kathrin Zettel by more than a half-second after the first run, with Fenninger and Maze next. After Maze posted the day’s then-best time of 1:03.19 on her second pass, Worley topped that by 0.03 seconds to claim the gold.

Zettel finished in fourth place, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter and 17-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany tied for 11th place, almost three 3 1/2 seconds behind Worley.

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