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Norwegians Lead World Cup Slalom

March 1, 1998

YONG PYONG, South Korea (AP) _ Olympic silver medalist Ole Kristian Furuseth and two Norwegian teammates led the way after the first run of a men’s World Cup slalom on Sunday.

Furuseth, the first racer down the course, completed the 573-meter course in 48.33 seconds, a healthy .54 seconds better than Finn Christian Jagge, the 1992 Olympic slalom gold medalist.

In third was Tom Stiansen, last year’s slalom gold medalist in the world championships and unlucky fourth in last month’s Winter Olympics in Japan. His time of 49.27 left him .94 back of Furuseth and .03 better than Austria’s Thomas Stangassinger, the current World Cup slalom points leader.

Japan’s Kiminobu Kimura finished in 49.38 to round out the top five, all of whom started among the first eight.

The key was executing at the top of the course. Any mistake over the first 20 seconds robbed the racer of the speed necessary to negotiate the lower flat section.

Although the top five had early starting numbers, the course held up well. For instance, Finland’s Kalle Pallander, starting 39th, and Italy’s Simone Vicquery, starting 41st, were 11th and 12th, respectively.

Thomas Sykora of Austria, the Olympic bronze medalist, was sixth in 49.56, followed by Germany’s Markus Eberle, who started 22nd and claimed seventh in 49.84.

Jure Kosir of Slovenia was eighth in 49.92 followed in a tie for ninth by Frenchmen Sebastian Amiez and Francois Simond in 50.09.

Among the first-run casualties was Olympic champion Hans-Petter Buraas of Norway, who managed only three gates before exiting the course, and Saturday’s giant slalom winner, Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland.

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