Bassino, Liensberger, Faivre secure inaugural parallel giant slalom world titles

Marta Bassino wins Italy's first gold of home World Championships on count-back after dead-heat.

By ZK Goh

Marta Bassino won Italy's first gold medal of the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo with victory in the inaugural parallel giant slalom event.

She was originally declared the winner against Austria's Katharina Liensberger in the gold medal final on count-back (fastest single run) with both athletes dead-heating, but Liensberger was later upgraded to joint-gold with a tie declared.

There had been a similar result in Bassino's semi-final when she dead-heated with eventual bronze medallist Tessa Worley of France but the Italian was advanced on count-back, with Worley settling for a place in the small final.

Meanwhile, France also took a men's medal as Mathieu Faivre defeated Croatia's Filip Zubcic in the final by 0.48 seconds. Switzerland's Loïc Meillard added to his super combined medal with another bronze after Germany's Alexander Schmid missed a gate in the small final and failed to finish.

The blue course proved the trickier run for the athletes, with the snow conditions appearing to deteriorate more on that piste.

Although the first run losers started the second run at the same deficit as their first run result, there were a few comebacks, especially with the controversial rule that the maximum lead a skier could take from the first run was 0.50 seconds.

A number of races saw the racer first on the slower blue course finish more than half a second back – with their deficits capped at 0.50 seconds – but rebound to win on the red course in the second run by very small margins.

This affected both Meillard, who lost to Zubcic by 0.02 seconds in the men's semi-finals despite clearly winning his first run by more than half a second; and Liensberger in the women's final, who was again well clear of Bassino in the first run but ended up tying instead of winning outright.