Walliser, Zurbriggen capture World Cup ski racing crowns
With the completion of the 1987 World Cup circuit and the US Pro Championship over the weekend, the ski racing season is in its final phase. Maria Walliser successfully defended her overall women's World Cup crown as she and her Swiss teammates dominated the competition by taking the top five places. Vreni Schneider was a close second (269 points to 262), followed by Brigitte Oertli, Erica Hess, and Michela Figini.
Walliser and Schneider tied for first place in the final giant slalom at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, Sunday, and also wound up sharing the title in that event. Tamara McKinney failed once again to finish the race, but managed to wind up second in the slalom standings, 10th in the giant slalom, and sixth overall for the best US finish.
Although defending men's overall champion Marc Giradelli won Sunday's final giant slalom event, also at Sarajevo, 1984 champion Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland so dominated this season's circuit that he clinched the overall title weeks ago. Zurbriggen also won the giant slalom, super giant slalom, and the combined titles. Yugoslavian veteran Bojan Krizaj, who finished second in Saturday's final slalom, won the 1987 slalom crown.
At the US Pro Championships at Stratton Mountain, Vt., (to be aired on ABC next Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time) the Halsnes brothers from Norway again demonstrated they are the best two racers on the US tour. Jarle regained the title he had lost to his brother, Edvin, last year after winning it in 1985. For the season, Jarle won 445 points and $81,250. Edvin was runner-up. Jarle now goes to Aspen to defend his world pro title, April 2-5.
Going into its final race next weekend at Kirkwood, Calif., the women's pro circuit has American Cathy Bruce in first place. Still to come are the final telemark and free-style competitions of the season.