German Strasser makes history at Schladming night slalom

Linus Strasser became the first German man to win the FIS Alpine skiing world cup slalom event at Schladming, Austria on Tuesday (25 January) by edging out Norwegian youngster Atle Lie McGrath (silver) and Austrian hero Manuel Feller -- who roared back from a rough opening run to scoop bronze.

By Jonah Fontela
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Linus Strasser won the FIS Alpine skiing world cup men’s slalom event on Tuesday 25 January in Schladming, Austria -- the final men's Alpine world cup stop before the Beijing Olympic Winter Games get going on 4 February.

The fastest time of the day in the two-run competition was 1:46.00 and enough for the veteran Strasser, a PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games veteran, to become the first German man to win the world cup stop under the lights in Schladming since the first one was held way back in 1974.

“It's super cool,” Strasser said of a six-race men's slalom season that has produced six different winners. “I think out of the top 30 there are 15-20 guys who can always win and surprise...It's just good for the sport.”

USA-born Atle Lie McGrath, who skis for Norway, was right behind the history-making German by +0.03. The 21-year-old Norwegian shed tears of pure joy upon discovering he was going to make it up on his first-ever world cup podium (silver).

“It's probably the first time in my life I couldn't stop crying,” said McGrath. “I will never forget this moment.”

Hometown hero Manuel Feller, almost miraculously, finished in third.

Sitting in 28th place after his first run on a challenging course, the 29-year-old, who’s third in the world rankings in slalom and second in giant slalom, put in a massive second run to steal last place on the podium with bronze (+0.39).

Feller just edged out Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway (fourth).

There seemed to be some jitters on the course throughout the contest with the Beijing Olympic Winter Games just ten days away. And those who were hoping for big fireworks from Kristoffer Jakobsen in the final run of the night, went home disappointed.

The Swede clipped the first gate right at the start of his second run to an audible gasp from the crowd of 1,000 (limited due to COVID-19), many of whom were expecting the 2018 Olympian to spoil the party and reach what would have been his third podium of the season.

Alpine skiing at the Beijing 2022 Games begins on 6 February and runs through to 19 February, with the men’s slalom and giant slalom races on 13 and 16 February.

Manuel Feller
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

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