Pyeongchang 2018

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Marvellous Marcel Hirscher storms to Giant Slalom Gold

Marcel Hirscher dominated the giant slalom to clinch his second Olympic title at PyeongChang 2018.

The Austrian was 0.63 seconds clear of the field after the first run, and ended up winning by well over a second having already struck gold in the combined.

Henrik Kristoffersen took silver for his second Olympic medal ahead of France’s defending champion Alexis Pinturault.

Kristoffersen charges to silver

Sochi 2014 slalom bronze medallist Kristoffersen was only 10th after a disappointing first run, but the Norwegian was much improved in the second.

A succession of skiers failed to beat his aggregate time, and Kristoffersen was guaranteed a medal before Pinturault – second from the first run – set off.

Like so many before him, the combined runner-up struggled on the second leg and he moved into second with just Hirscher to go.

Marvellous Marcel

The 28-year-old had a lead of 1.31 seconds over Kristoffersen from the first run, and he yielded just four-hundredths of that advantage to secure double gold.

His margin of victory was immense – the largest in Olympic giant slalom history since Jean-Claude Killy’s at Grenoble 1968.

Hirscher’s fellow Austrian Benjamin Raich was the last man to claim two alpine skiing golds at a Games.

Victory in Thursday’s slalom would see Hirscher join Killy, Toni Sailer (1956) and Janica Kostelic (Salt Lake City 2002) as the only skiers to win three golds at an Olympic Winter Games.

Elusive gold

Hirscher is the reigning world champion in slalom and claimed silver in the event at Sochi four years ago.

Although the Austrian’s formidable talent was beyond question, before PyeongChang an Olympic gold had always eluded him.

But now, the six-time overall World Cup winner has erased that omission in style.

For Hirscher though, his previous Winter Games were all part of a learning experience:

“Now it pays off. The first Olympics, they were not so successful. I mean, finishing fourth and fifth, it was OK.

The next Olympics, in Sochi, second and fourth place. So a lot of fourth place. And now, I think it pays off,”

 

 

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