Olympics

Janka to skip World Cup opener

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ZERMATT, Switzerland (AP)

Olympic giant slalom champion Carlo Janka will skip next month's World Cup opener, which starts the Sochi Winter Games season.

After struggling last season, he would have received a high bib number for the first run on Oct. 27 in Soelden, Austria.

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"I start at the end of the field and it makes no sense at all to do it," Janka told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Janka had difficulty adapting to new GS ski specification rules last season and completed only one event -- a 24th-place finish at Beaver Creek, Colo. Those race points left the 2009 world champion trailing in 48th place in the discipline standings.

Ted Ligety of the United States dominated the season, winning six World Cup races, and his second straight worlds gold medal.

"I have some work to do when I compare with Ted or Marcel (Hirscher)," Janka said.

Janka's first scheduled World Cup race is the Nov. 30 downhill at Lake Louise, Canada.

"I have maybe to focus on the speed side at the beginning of the season and then I see how it works in the GS," the 26-year-old Swiss said.

Janka won gold in GS at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, where Ligety finished ninth. Janka carried that Olympic success into an overall World Cup title.

Since then, Janka has been slowed by health issues and equipment problems, as new ski rules made it tougher to carve sharp turns.

"Definitely better than last year," Janka said before his second season on longer skis. "Not on the top (form), but definitely better. I have still work to do, of course."

Ligety is the defending GS champion at Soelden.

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