The fourth and final stage of the 1999 World Cup was held in Kranj, Slovenia on the 12/13/14th of November. As always the programme was extremely tiring for the athletes who, having to wait for TV airings and large audiences, had to climb late afternoon and in the evenings, after long periods spent in isolation. This was a shame because the organisation, led by Tomo Cesen, was impeccable, allowing 50 women and 90 men from 24 different countries to take part without a hitch.
The importance of this competition had never been underestimated. The last World Cup event had been held in June and the provisional ranking saw Andreas Bindhammer first, ahead of François Legrand and François Petit tied in second place. So all was at stake!
After the quarter-finals Yuji Hirayama impressed all with his performance in the semi-final, thus qualifying for the Final behind Legrand and the young Alexandre Chabod, unknown hitherto but already French champion, who had fought his way astonishingly from the Open.
The womens final on Sunday, held in front of a relatively large crowd, was won by Liv Sansoz ahead of Muriel Sarkany, Stephanie Bodet, Katie Brown and Martina Cufar.
Ovtchinnikov brought his tally of victories this year to three by climbing a startling 3m higher than Hirayama and almost 4m above Caude 3rd, Francois Petit 4th and Koyamada 5th. Chabod placed 6th, Legrand, 7th and Brenna 8th.
These results mean that the World Cup Ranking for 1999 finish as follows:
1st François Petit, 2nd François Legrand, 3rd Andreas Bindhammer, 4th Ovtchinnikov, 5th Caude, 6th Hirayama 7th Brenna & Arnaud Petit equal 8th.
1st Muriel Sarkany, 2nd Liv Sansoz, 3rd Martina Cufar, 4th Elena Choumilova, 5th Katie Brown, 6th Isabelle Bihr, 7th Josune Bereciartu, 8th Stephanie Bodet.