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Brauer claims first top 15 World Cup result

3 February 2006

Jono Brauer has produced the best result of his career just a week before the Torino 2006 Olympic Games, finishing in 14th place in the Super Combined in Chamonix, France.

Brauer was just 2.3 seconds behind race winner and World Cup leader Benjamin Raich of Austria, and 1.31 seconds behind American bronze medallist Bode Miller of the USA, who was the 2005 World Cup champion.

The Thredbo 24-year-old skied to 38th place in the opening downhill leg of the two-run event, posting a time of one minute 43.93 seconds, 2.21 seconds behind the fastest skier down the hill, Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway.

In the afternoon's slalom leg of the race, the Olympic debutant recorded the 11th fastest time, 1.25 seconds slower than American skier Ted Ligety, to rocket up to 14th overall.

The result gave Brauer his first top 15 placing and first World Cup points.

"That wasn't so bad," Brauer said. "I made a bit of a mistake at the beginning of the slalom leg, so the result could have been better. I hit a couple of little bumps on an early gate and lost an edge then went way too direct into a turny section, and lost a bit of time."

"But after that I just tried to ski fast for the rest of the course."

Previously known as a slalom specialist, Brauer beat more recognised speed merchant team-mates Craig Branch and AJ Bear in the downhill leg, despite having done just four in his life.

Branch finished in 41st place in the downhill leg and Bear 45th, with neither starting in the slalom.

"I've really been enjoying the downhill," Brauer said. "I haven't done any for two years, but I wasn't nervous at all, and it's something different."

"And my knee has been really good. We were worried that it might not stand up to the extra pressure of the downhill but it hasn't been hurting at all."

Brauer will ski the slalom and combined events in Torino, while Branch and Bear will contest tomorrow's downhill in Chamonix.

AOC

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