O'Connor 13 seconds off lead after first run in slalom

Italy’s Giuliano Razzoli took the lead in the men’s slalom following the first run at Whistler Creekside on Saturday.

Razzoli, ranked ninth in the World Cup slalom standings this season, clocked 47.79 seconds to lead the field and give himself a chance to be the first Italian to win an Olympic slalom medal since Alberto Tomba took silver at the Lillehammer Winter Games in 1994.

The 25-year-old will take a 0.43 second lead over Slovenian Mitja Valencic into the second and final run later today with defending champion Benjamin Raich of Austria third having clocked 48.33, 0.54 behind Razzoli.

With light rain falling and fog once again shrouding the top of the run, there were several notable skiers among the 44 racers who failed to finish, including world champion Manfred Pranger of Austria, German medal hope Felix Neureuther and Americans Bode Miller and Ted Ligety.

Britain’s Andrew Noble and David Ryding as well as Ireland’s Shane O’Connor were amongst the finishers.

Noble lies in 32nd having clocked 51.55, narrowly ahead of his team-mate Ryding in 33rd on 51.58 while Dubliner O’Connor got down in 60.83 for a double celebration after being selected to carry the Irish flag at tomorrow night’s Closing Ceremony.

There was also joy for Glasgow-born, Milton Keynes-based Ghanaian Kwame ’Snow Leopard’ Nkrumah-Acheampong who clocked 1:09.08, 21.29 seconds behind Razzoli.

Leading positions after the Men’s Slalom 1st Run: 1 Giuliano Razzoli (Ita) 47.79 secs, 2 Mitja Valencic (Slo) 48.22, 3 Benjamin Raich (Aut) 48.33, 4 Ivica Kostelic (Cro) 48.37, 5 Manfred Moelgg (Ita) 48.64, 6 Ondrej Bank (Cze) 48.69, 7 Silvan Zurbriggen (Swi) 48.78, 8 Julien Lizeroux (Fra) 48.82, 9 Marcel Hirscher (Aut) 48.92, 10 Andre Myhrer (Swe) 49.03, 11 Michael Janyk (Can) 49.18, 12 Reinfried Herbst (Aut) 49.23, 13 Mattias Hargin (Swe) 49.27, 14 Akira Sasaki (Jpn) 49.41, 15 Steve Missillier (Fra) 49.49, 16 Maxime Tissot (Fra) 49.52, 17 Trevor White (Can) 49.53, 18 Kjetil Jansrud (Nor) 49.54, 19 Julien Cousineau (Can) 49.59, 20 Sandro Viletta (Swi) 49.85, 21 Thomas Mermillod Blondin (Fra) 49.90, 22 Marc Gini (Swi) 49.94, 23 Natko Zrncic-Dim (Cro) 50.01, 24 Kilian Albrecht (Bul) 50.08, 25 Patrick Thaler (Ita) 50.13, 26 Axel Baeck (Swe) 50.25, 27 Alexandr Horoshilov (Rus) 50.50, 28 Jens Byggmark (Swe) 50.50, 29 Nolan Kasper (USA) 50.66, 30 Stefan Georgiev (Bul) 50.86, 31 Cristian Javier Simari Birkner (Arg) 51.35, 32 Andrew Noble (Gbr) 51.55, 33 David Ryding (Gbr) 51.58, 34 Iason Abramashvili (GEO) 51.89, 35 Christophe Roux (Mda) 51.90, 36 Vassilis Dimitriadis (Gre) 51.96, 37 Jaroslav Babusiak (Svk) 52.10, 38 Danko Marinelli (Cro) 52.28, 39 Mykhaylo Renzhin (Isr) 52.84, 40 Marko Rudic (Bih) 53.70, 41 Kristaps Zvejnieks (Lat) 53.82, 42 Jeroen van den Bogaert (Bel) 53.99, 43 Igor Zakurdaev (Kaz) 54.41, 44 Jimmy Cochran (USA) 54.94, 45 Rostyslav Feshchuk (Ukr) 55.35, 46 Bojan Kosic (Mne) 56.15, 47 Hossein Saveh Shemshaki (Iri) 57.59, 48 Oleg Shamaev (Uzb) 57.65, 49 Lei Li (Chn) 59.43, 50 Samir Azzimani (Mar) 1:00.43, 51 Shane O Connor (Irl) 1:00.83, 52 Hubertus von Hohenlohe (Mex) 1:02.09, 53 Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong (Gha) 1:09.08, 54 Erjon Tola (Alb) 1:33.94

DNS: Markus Kilsgaard (Den)

DNF: Manfred Pranger (Aut), Felix Neureuther (Ger), Ted Ligety (USA), Bode Miller (USA), Lars Elton Myhre (Nor), Urs Imboden (Mol), Bernard Vajdic (Slo), Cristian Deville (Ita), Brad Spence (Can), Filip Trejbal (Cze), Marc Berthod (Swi), Matic Skube (Slo), Kentaro Minagawa (Jpn), Truls Ove Karlsen (Nor), Leif Kristian Haugen (Nor), Dalibor Samsal (Cro), Mitja Dragsic (Slo), Martin Vrablik (Cze), Bjoergvin Bjoergvinsson (Ice), Dong-Hyun Jung (Kor), Andreas Romar (Fin), Sergei Maitakov (Rus), Woo-Sung Kim (Kor), Bart Mollin (Bel), Stefan Jon Sigurgeirsson (Ice), Stepan Zuev (Rus), Porya Saveh Shemshaki (Irn), Roger Vidosa (And), Ioan-Gabriel Nan (Rom), Stephanos Tsimkalis (Gre), Antonio Ristevski (Mkd), Agustin Torres (Arg), Jhonatan Longhi (Bra), Marton Bene (Hun), Deyvid Oprja (Est), Erdinc Turksever (Tur), Vitalij Rumiancev (Lit), Jaba Gelashvili (Geo), Christopher Papamichalopoulos (Cyr), Andrey Drygin (Taj), Jedrij Notz (Aze), Leyti Seck (Sen), Dmitry Trelevski (Kgz)

DSQ: Krystof Kryzl (Cze),Ghassan Achi (Leb), Arsen Nersisyan (Arm), Manfred Oettl Reyes (Per)

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