18,000 fans were delirious with relief today – for after 9 days of waiting the Austrian men’s alpine ski team finally delivered a medal to start their campaign at the World Alpine ski Championships on the famous Planai in Schladming, Austria. The idea of a 9 day wait for a medal from the Austrian men’s alpine team would a few years ago have seemed absolute fantasy, but then again it was Australia who were lagging behind their Antipodean cousins of New Zealand for a good part of the London Olympic Games. So it that Austria can at least gain some comfort from the relief of being spared total ignominy and have a medallist to show in front of their press at their home World Championships. Hermann Maier is from just down the valley in Altenmarkt, maybe he is considering pulling his boots on and catching the local ski bus for a shot at glory. And for the records it was Romed Baumann who carried the medal today for Austria, behind Ivica Kostelic and the winner Ted Ligety.