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Fog forces World Cup officials to call off last pre-Olympic downhill

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland - Fog prevented downhill racers from getting their Olympic dress rehearsal.

Poor visibility on the middle section of the course forced World Cup officials to call off a men's downhill on Saturday, the last speed race before the Sochi Olympics. A women's giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, was also cancelled because of poor weather.

The start of the race was postponed several times and pushed back more than two hours before officials finally gave up.

"It was the right decision," overall and downhill World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway said.

The fog never lifted around the middle of the already shortened Corviglia course.

The downhill on Feb. 9 is the first Alpine event of the Sochi Games.

A giant slalom is scheduled for Sunday in St. Moritz.

The races in St. Moritz replaced the ones that had been scheduled for Garmisch-Partenkirchen but had to be called off for lack of snow in the German resort.

Too much snow and fog were the problem in St. Moritz. Heavy snowfall forced the cancellation of downhill training on Friday. It still snowed on Saturday, although not that heavily, but this time fog descended on the course to force another cancellation.

Svindal said the Olympics were not on his mind as he waited, in vain, for the start.

"You want to win a World Cup race, you are not thinking of Sochi. It's exciting to win a World Cup race," Svindal said.

With race officials constantly inspecting the course, Svindal said, they were in a better position to judge the conditions.

"It's too bad but that's the way it is. The fog is moving in and out and maybe you can have one or two racers on the course and then it would have to be stopped," he said. "It wouldn't be safe and it wouldn't be fair."

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