By David Gold

Mitch Gourley_09-03-12March 9 - A fiercely contested leg of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Cup in Winter Park, Colorado, has so far seen the hosts United States, Slovakia, Russia, Germany and Switzerland all claim two gold medals apiece.

The tightest discipline as yet has been the giant slalom standing, in which four skiers reached the podium over two events.

Mitch Gourley (pictured) of Australia took gold in the first race ahead of Swiss Thomas Pfyl and Russian Alexandr Alyabyev.

In the second race Frenchman Vincent Gauthier-Manuel won ahead of Gourley, while Alyabyev took another bronze.

The women's giant slalom visually impaired contest saw Slovak Henrieta Farkašová and Russia's Alexandra Frantseva in a closely fought run for the top spot which ended with both taking gold and silver in the two races.

Frantseva will be the happier though as it means she sits top of the standings, while American Danelle Umstead was third in the first race, and compatriot Lindsay Ball took bronze in the second.

In the men's version of the same event, the Slovaks and Russians went head-to-head once more.

Russian Valery Redkozubov and Slovak Miroslav Haraus both took a gold and silver each again in the two races, with the former leading the standings.

In the giant slalom standing, Germany's Andrea Rothfuss took two gold medals, but she was given a run for her money on both runs.

The first saw her narrowly edge out France's Marie Bochet by just 0.07 seconds, and in the second Slovakia's Petra Smarzova took silver.

In the women's giant slalom sitting, Alana Nichols took gold ahead of fellow American Laurie Stephens in both races, while German Anna Schaffelhuber took bronze in each.

The men's giant slalom sitting saw Swiss Christoph Kunz grab two golds after dominating both races convincingly.

American Heath Calhoun took silver first time, with Cyril More of France taking bronze, and More then took silver in the second race, with Germany's Georg Kreiter back in third.

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