France edge out Slovakia to take team gold

France took FIS Alpine World Ski Championships team event gold for a second time in St. Moritz after edging out Slovakia in the final on Tuesday.

It came down to a showdown between Mathieu Faivre and Matej Falat in the final race on the parallel-slalom course to decide who would be crowned champions and it was the former who crossed the line just 0.04 seconds in front.

France had not won a medal at this year's event on the Swiss slopes until Tessa Worley, Faivre, Alexis Pinturault, Julien Lizeroux, Nastasia Noens and Adeline Baud Mugnier topped the podium.

The mixed quartet of Faivre, Worley, Pinturault and Baud Mugnier were only 0.08secs quicker than the Slovakian team of Falat, Veronika Velez Zuzulova, Petra Vlhova and Andreas Zampa after both teams had won two legs each.

Slovakia had never won a World Championship medal prior to their unexpected run to the final and had gold in their sights when Vlhova beat Worley, but Pinturault hit back for France by defeating Zampa.

Velez Zuzulova restored Slovakia's advantage with a victory over Mugnier, but Faivre just held off the fast-finishing Falat to give France a second title in the team event - which will debut at the Olympics next year.

Sweden beat hosts Switzerland 3-1 to take bronze, while the great Marcel Hirscher lost in both rounds as defending champions Austria failed to live up to expectations.

It was Sweden who knocked Austria out with an emphatic 4-1 victory at the quarter-final stage.


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