Alpine skiing World Cup finals cancelled due to coronavirus

Paris (AFP) –


The alpine skiing World Cup finals, scheduled for Cortina d'Ampezzo between March 16-22, have been cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Italian Winter Sports Federation announced on Friday.

The number of those killed by COVID-19 in Italy jumped to 197 on Friday with more than 4,600 cases recorded, and government emergency decrees have led to a swathe of sports events being cancelled or postponed.

The cancellation means there are just four men's races left of a scheduled 43 and three for the women from a scheduled 37 this season.

"It is with great regret that we cancel the event but the decision was unanimous," the Italian ski federation said.

Both the men's and women's overall titles are tight affairs with Frenchman Alexis Pinturault and American Mikaela Shiffrin both under great pressure at the end of the season.

While 24-year-old Shiffrin has a run-in featuring her favoured slalom, Pinturault has a tough weekend ahead with his weaker speed events, the downhill and super-G, on the menu at Kvitfjell in Norway.

Breathing down the Frenchman's neck are two Norwegians, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who is just 26 points adrift, and Henrik Kristoffersen at 107 points, with 100 points per-win available.

Shiffrin could be back next weekend at Are in Sweden after missing four weekends of action following the death of her father.

Three-time World Cup overall winner Shiffrin trails Italian speed specialist Federica Brignone by 153 points.