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Mon 26 Jan 2009 11:35 AM

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Kalhor makes World Cup skiing history for Iran

25-year-old sports management student is Iran's first participant in world skiing event.

Hossein Kalhor swept unconvincingly into Alpine skiing history on Sunday when he became the first Iranian to take part in the World Cup.

The 25-year-old displayed an uncertain style in the slalom and finished second-last in the first run, more than 16 seconds behind the fastest man and, as a result, missed out on the second round.

But Kalhor was happy with his debut, pointing out that he hadn't missed a gate and had at least reached the end of the course unlike superstars Benjamin Raich of Austria and America's Bode Miller who both failed to finish.

"The course was very slippy," said Kalhor, a sports management student.

"To take part in a downhill at Kitzbuehel I would have had the strength and courage, but I missed training."

From a humble background, Kalhor grew up in the mountainous regions north of Teheran and has financed his career by giving skiing lessons to the capital city's rich.

"Our aim is for him to be the best 'exotic' skier at the 2010 Winter Olympics," said his manager Dana Wafai.

"We know that he has no chance against the Austrians, Swiss and French."

Kalhor won't compete at the world championships in Val-d'Isere from February 2-15, but he will be back on the slopes on Tuesday in the World Cup night slalom at Schladming.

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Mike 11 years ago

"We know that he has no chance against the Austrians, Swiss and French." Words of encouragement! Well done to Mr. Kalhor