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FIS ENL Slalom men's event

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United States skiers took the lead in The Southland Times-Mirror FIS ENL Slalom men's event at Treble Cone on Saturday but Queenstown skier Tim Cafe snuck into third place to ensure a Kiwi flavour in the results.

About 125 athletes took part in the event and Treble Cone hosted teams and individuals from Swizterland, the US, Korea, Japan, Wanaka, Queenstown and competitors from Mt Hutt and Mt Ruapehu.

Will Gregorak (US) was first in the men's slalom event, while Stepanie Klocker (AUT) was first in the women's slalom event.

Treble Cone Snow Sports director Guenther Birgmann said the performance and skill level on show on Saturday was far above what was usually expected at an ENL race, which was entry level.

For the points some racers picked up, it showed an extremely high level of performance, Birgmann said.

International skiers training at the field also entered the race and their overall experience and exposure on New Zealand skiers was showing benefits, he said.

"New Zealanders are benefiting having all these international skiers here; it is a good learning environment."

Birgmann rates Queenstown skier Cafe as an exciting skier with a big future.

"He is the most promising ski racer in New Zealand.

"In the world juniors last year he came 13th overall, and he's shown his strong performance by coming third at this event," he said.