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Alpine Skiing: Matt wins World Cup slalom

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Mario Matt of Austria won the men's World Cup slalom at Val d'Isere on Sunday for the 15th victory of his career.

The 34-year-old veteran former world champion was quickest on the first run and he never looked like giving that up second time out, winning by over half a second from Mattias Hargin of Sweden with Patrick Thaler of Italy in third.

Favourite Marcel Hirscher of Austria failed to qualify on time for the second leg after he made two bad mistakes on his first run.

The reigning World Cup overall winner had finished on the podium in the last 10 slaloms he had competed in, but he got off to a bad start when his ski mask slipped and impaired his vision.

"I am not making that an excuse though because I then tried to make up the lost time and made a very bad mistake on the lower part of the course," he said.

The result was that Hirscher was placed 41st and last and with over four seconds between him and compatriot Matt, he was eliminated from the second leg.

Hirscher remained second in the overall standings with 335 points, 25 points behind leader Aksel Lund Svindal, the Norwegian speed specialist, who did not compete in the slalom.

Matt was delighted with his first World Cup win since a slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, in March, 2011.

"On this hill I had no luck before so I am more than happy today," he said.

"This was so tough with everyone risking everything. It was not easy."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131215/alpine-skiing-matt-wins-world-cup-slalom