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Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Men's super-combined moved to Sunday

Associated Press

WHISTLER, British Columbia -- An overnight snowstorm forced ski officials to postpone Tuesday's men's super-combined race for nearly a week and call off women's downhill training, the latest shuffling to the Alpine calendar at the Vancouver Olympics.

With snow still falling Tuesday, the super-combined was bumped to Sunday. The men's giant slalom that was supposed to be Sunday has been shifted to next Tuesday, Feb. 23.

The men's super-combined is the third race that has been postponed following the mix of warm temperatures, snow, rain and fog that wreaked havoc with the Alpine schedule last week.

Of the four Alpine races scheduled so far, only one has gone off -- the men's downhill won Monday by Didier Defago of Switzerland.

Dry weather is forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Even more than that, temperatures are predicted to drop below freezing at night, aiding workers in preparing the course for competition.

"If the snow is frozen at least in the morning, we can handle many more things than if you have slushy conditions as we have right now," men's race director Guenter Hujara explained.

The Olympics end Feb. 28, and officials say they are still confident the Alpine events will be finished by then.

"I'm always optimistic," Hujara said. "No panic on our side. No panic at all."

The women have managed to get in only one official training run, a split session Monday. The women's downhill race is scheduled for Wednesday, and the women's super-combined has been moved to Thursday.

The cancellation of downhill training Tuesday wasn't expected to have much of an impact on the Alpine calendar, because the women already had a full training session Monday. That means their downhill race can go off as planned. Rules require one complete practice run before a downhill can be held.

The women's super-combined -- originally slated to be run last Sunday -- is now on for Thursday, the men's super-G is Friday, and the women's super-G is Saturday.

After the rescheduled men's super-combined, Monday is set aside as a day with no racing. Then action is to resume the next day with the men's giant slalom, followed by the women's giant slalom Feb. 24. After another day without racing, the women's slalom is Feb. 26 and the men's slalom Feb. 27.

"The situation is challenging, because of wet conditions," Hujara said. "But we are quite optimistic. We still have quite a few days in reserve. We will use them if necessary."