Victorious Hirscher apologises to Kristoffersen for Schladming snowball shower

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Victorious Hirscher apologises to Kristoffersen for Schladming snowball shower

Victorious Hirscher apologises to Kristoffersen for Schladming snowball shower

Marcel Hirscher sealed a popular home slalom victory but felt compelled to apologise after members of the Schladming crowd threw snowballs at Henrik Kristoffersen during his second run on Tuesday.

In a reverse of the previous FIS World Cup slalom meeting in Kitzbuhel two days ago, Hirshcer topped the podium ahead of Norway's Kristoffersen (+0.39 seconds) while Daniel Yule (+2.13s) took third for the second event in succession.

Hirscher went fastest during both runs of the night meeting, clocking an overall time of 1:43.56, but was clearly sympathetic to his beaten opponent, who was targeted by snowballs from spectators presumably keen to see an Austrian win.

Kristoffersen was visibly annoyed after crossing the finish line and Hirscher – who extends his lead in both the slalom and overall standings by 20 points over the Norwegian – apologised on the crowd's behalf.

"I feel very sorry for Henrik," he said. "99.9 per cent of the crowd are amazing but 0.1 per cent of the people...it's a little bit of a shame that we have these spectators."

Hirscher's victory was the 500th by an Austrian man in World Cup events – Switzerland are second in that regard with 268 – while his 54th individual success moves him joint-second on the all-time list alongside compatriot Hermann Maier.

In the women's giant slalom, Viktoria Rebensburg marked her return to the World Cup with victory in Kronplatz.

The German had missed the last two meetings with a virus, but secured a narrow win by just 0.03s over Ragnhild Mowinckel.

There was something for the home crowd to cheer as Italian Federica Brignone, herself recovering from illness, took third at 0.66s off the pace.

Rebensburg's win saw her reclaim the giant slalom standings lead from Mikaela Shiffrin, whose uncharacteristic error saw her unable to complete the first run.