Mancuso places fifth under the lights |

Mancuso places fifth under the lights

Charles Krupa/Associated PressJulia Mancuso of Olympic Valley passes a gate during the first run of the women's giant slalom Tuesday in Are, Sweden.

ARE, Sweden ” Olympic champion Julia Mancuso of Olympic Valley led the first run Tuesday at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, but had problems on her second run and finished fifth in the first night giant slalom in Worlds history.

Nicole Hosp won the first gold medal of the championships for Austria, winning in 2:31.72 after posting the fastest second run.

Maria Pietilae-Holmner gave Sweden another medal at the championships, finishing second (2:32.57) and Italy’s Denise Karbon was bronze medalist (2:32.69).

“The snow wasn’t what I expected,” Mancuso said. “It was a lot rougher; it was kind of bumpy at the beginning [of her final run] and I just didn’t have the timing right…

“It held up but it was definitely rougher for the later numbers,” she said.

Having led the first run, Mancuso ran 30th for the second. Temperatures were in the low 20s.

She said competing under the lights in the first night GS of any Worlds “was a lot of fun” but she was tired and that apparently took away some of her energy as she made mistakes from the start.

In a championships where the first three days were postponed and cold has been a factor, Mancuso said she would have preferred to have raced in a shorter time frame.

Libby Ludlow of Bellevue, Wash., was 29th, with Resi Stiegler of Jackson Hole, Wyo., 35th and Jessica Kelley of Starksboro, Vt., 36th.

The next women’s race will be Friday’s slalom ” the final individual race ” with the team event Sunday.

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