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Friday, February 13, 2009
Bode records another DNF

Associated Press

VAL D'ISERE, France -- Carlo Janka of Switzerland won the giant slalom at the world championships Friday, while American Ted Ligety was third and Bode Miller did not finish.

Janka timed 2 minutes, 18.82 seconds for the two runs down the Face de Bellevarde course. Benjamin Raich of Austria finished second, 0.71 behind.

Ligety earned the first medal for the U.S. men at Val d'Isere. After finishing ninth in the opening run, he moved into the bronze-medal position by posting the fastest run in the second leg (1:09.85).

"I just tried to get all my nerves out," he said. "I knew I had a bad first run and had to give everything and attack all the way."

It's a second major championship medal for the 24-year-old from Park City, Utah. Ligety won gold at the 2006 Turin Olympics in the combined.

Miller was 17th fastest after the first run. But the 2003 world champion in giant slalom skied out before getting halfway down in the second. The 31-year-old American is winless in 26 World Cup events and four world championship races this season.

It was an emotional victory for the 22-year-old Janka, a teammate of Daniel Albrecht. Albrecht woke up Thursday from a three-week induced coma at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, after suffering lung and brain injuries when he crashed in downhill training.

Albrecht won silver in the giant slalom and gold in the super-combi at last year's world championships.

Janka, known as "Iceman" in Switzerland for his laid-back personality, was deeply affected by the accident.

Janka was widely favored for the giant slalom after finishing his preparations at Veysonnaz, Switzerland, earlier this week. He relishes the technical Bellevarde slope, taking bronze in Saturday's downhill and winning a World Cup giant slalom race here last December.

Raich, the defending Olympic giant slalom champion, also went home to train this week. The 30-year-old Austrian was under pressure to deliver his country's first medal in the men's races in the fourth attempt.

Raich, a two-time World Cup giant slalom champion who leads the discipline standings, trailed Janka by 0.48 after the first run.

Austrian teenager Marcel Hirscher placed fourth behind Ligety, 0.07 off a medal.