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Armand Marchant showered with praise as the best Belgian skiman ever at the World Championships with 10th place in slalom: “I had a great day, but I want even more history” | More Sport

To skiUndoubtedly a class achievement by Armand Marchant: his tenth slalom spot in Cortina d’Ampezzo is good for Belgian sports history. No man has ever skied better at a World Cup in an individual discipline. “I want to take even more historic steps,” says Marchant, with the Olympic Games next year as the main goal.

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Marchant kept his cool in warm conditions in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Article link

The high temperatures on Sunday affected the quality of the steep Druscie A slope – average slope of 40% and maximum slope of 60% – with softer snow at the bottom. Many (top) skiers dropped out due to a ski error, including top favorite Marco Schwartz. Marchant skied to a handsome twelfth place in the first run. In the second moto – in which the organization had changed the running order – Marchant moved up to tenth place, at 1:74 from the surprising gold medalist Sebastian Foss-Solevaag.

With that tenth place in the final ranking of a World Cup slalom, Marchant writes Belgian history in skiing. Never before has a male Belgian achieved a higher place in an individual World Cup discipline. In fact, his 15th place in the combination earlier in this two-week was also a ‘World Cup record’ for Belgium. Among women, Patrizia Du Roy de Bliquy, of noble descent, boasts the best performance ever, finishing 6th in descent at the 1962 World Cup in Chamonix. Last year, Marchant also stunted the World Cup circuit with fifth place in the slalom in Zagreb, a top result that put himself on the map in the ski world.

A delighted Armand Marchant between his team and parents after his tenth World Cup spot, from left to right. mom Véronique Bourdin, physiotherapist Thibaut Schnitzler, Armand Marchant, trainer Raphael Burtin and dad Armand Sr. © RV

“I estimate that fifth place in Zagreb is even higher than tenth at the World Cup, when I even won the second moto in Zagreb. If I manage two super runs on the same day, I can make it to the podium ”, Marchant responded in a video zoom. “But tenth at the World Cup is also great. This gives a very good feeling, after a bad start to the season. It is my second best result ever in my career. Article link

The fact that it is a historic achievement for Belgium shows that we too can have good skiers. But I want to take even more historical steps. ” Article link

The deal with history that Marchant does not want to miss is next year’s Olympic Winter Games in Beijing: “I feel ready for that already.”

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The Belgian ski world reacted enthusiastically to Marchant’s milestone. On social media it responded accolades: “Great. Genius. Terrible. Magnificent, Big congratulations … and so on. His mother Véronique Bourdin also posted two clenched arms at his top ten place. Marchant enjoys a lot of respect in the ski world anyway. Article link

The way he manifests himself as a Belgian from a “flat country” between the top skiers from the real ski islands such as Austria, Switzerland and the US is already clever. Even better is that he achieves these results after a serious injury. Marchant suffered a complex tibial fracture in January 2017, followed by a long rehabilitation period. Article link

The fact that he fought back and also performed well at a World Cup only increases that respect. Marchant: “Many champions from the past are walking around here at this World Cup. After my first moto I already received compliments from an ex-topper like Luc Alphand. Then my motivation will only increase. ”

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The World Cup slalom was also accompanied by a lot of commotion on Sunday. Normally, for the second moto, the top thirty of the first moto always start in reverse order, but due to the warm weather in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the organization decided to exceptionally change that rule to the top fifteen, in order to protect the absolute top skiers. This way they can whiz down the track in an even better condition in the second moto. That decision made that anyone who finishes outside the top fifteen in the first run is almost without a chance to ski in the medals.

For skiers of the level of Marchant this greatly increased the pressure to reach the top-15 in the first moto. Article link

The decision caused a lot of dissatisfaction: “It is the big ski islands that push their will to protect their good skiers,” said Marchant. “Many other countries were still disgusted by that decision. But for some top skiers, the decision has also backfired. I myself have tried not to think about it too much. I had a very good feeling about training and I continued with that momentum. ”

Ivica Kostelic, the Croatian former world champion slalom, expressed his criticism of the last-minute change even more fiercely. He went crazy on instagram, in a post with an image of a flock of sheep: “Where are you all now, you freedom fighters and advocates of fair play in our sport? Where are you guys now @FISalpine? Why don’t you get up and stop bowing to the rotten interests? But above all: where are you, top slalomers? Are you afraid to speak up against this undeniable injustice? You who swear on fair play above all else? Your silence supports this injustice towards your colleagues, especially the younger ones, whose chances of a fair fight have been obliterated a priori by this decision. We look at champions here – are there some of you? Strength is expressed through generosity. Injustice is the way of the weak. An unfair and dishonorable sports victory is worthless. And remember, the worst is based on the violence of a few and the silence of many. Speak now or never speak of fair play again. ”

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