Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Majestic Marcel untouchable in giant slalom

Majestic Marcel untouchable in giant slalom

Austria's Marcel Hirscher who took the gold celebrates during the flower ceremony for the men's giant slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.

Hirscher won the men's giant slalom Sunday, finishing in 2 minutes, 18.04 seconds, and beating Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen by 1.27 seconds - the largest victory in the event at an Olympics in 50 years.

Hirscher's gold represents the third Olympic medal of his career after he nabbed silver in slalom four years ago and gold in the men's combined final earlier in the week.

Kristoffersen's silver follows eight second-place finishes in the World Cup this season, six of which have also been to Hirscher.

He had a 0.63-second lead over Pinturault from the first leg and 1.31 over Kristoffersen, which proved to be vital given the Norwegian's remarkable second run.

Frenchman Alexis Pinturault bagged bronze in this event at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

In addition to the triumph at Sochi, which made him the only USA male Alpine skier with two Olympic golds, he won GS world championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015, along with a bronze in the event at the 2009 worlds.

Although it is one of Alpine skiing's technical rather than speed events, the top skiers can still get up to 40 kph on the giant slalom course and crashes can be dramatic. "I would guess that he's a little bit sick of being beaten by me as well".

"Wow! It was not so easy to be the absolute favourite in this discipline, then sitting up there as the leader from the first run, knowing that Henrik had ripped it", said the Austrian afterwards. He's been ranked ranked eighth in the world in giant slalom.

"Today was definitely a tough day at the office", said Ligety, who stormed to a shock first Olympic gold in the combined in Turin in 2006, before he had even won on the World Cup circuit.

The 17-year-old Miller makes his first run at 10:15 a.m. (9:15 Manila), along with 65 other entries, with the medal run scheduled at 1:45 p.m. (12:45 Manila) on the same day.

Ligety's second run improved at 1:10.71.

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