February 24, 2018

Winter Olympics 2018: Svindal claims downhill gold

15 February 2018, 06:20 | Glen Norman

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Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal skis during the men's downhill at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon South Korea Thursday Feb. 15 2018

He's one of Norway's best-loved and most successful winter athletes and now Aksel Lund Svindal has made history by becoming the oldest skier to win Olympic gold and his country's first in the speed discipline.

Olympic downhill events are rarely won by favourites but Svindal, Jansrud and Feuz were all expected to challenge for places on the podium during the showpiece race.

Jansrud took downhill bronze four years ago and Feuz is the current world champion.

Jansrud said: "Being a small team and having two out of three guys succeed and grabbing the top two spots is a pretty good percentage. It is one of those things where you keep looking up the hill because I want to make sure it is real". "But this is fine".

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"I'm really proud to have got this medal", Feuz said.

"The two Norwegians were incredible".

"Axel has been hurt several times and we know that on a run like this he is always extremely risky, so the two Norwegians are top of my list of competitors". American Bode Miller became skiing's oldest male medalist when he won bronze at Sochi at the age of 36.

Error-free skiing is Feuz's stock-in-trade and although he trailed pace-setter Dominik Paris at the top of the run, he built up speed in the mid section and raced home to lead.

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He went wide at one turn and fought through the air off one jump while posting the eventual eighth-fastest time at the mid-point.

Svindal stopped the clock at 1min 40.25 sec in the one-run shootout to secure his second Olympic title eight years after his last.

The 32-year-old knew he had blown it and his body language after crossing the line contrasted starkly with a visible sigh of relief from Svindal waiting under the scoreboard.

"I guess this is the beginning of the end somehow, definitely my last Olympics". "I think I lost too much time at the bottom against Aksel but I'm still very happy". He also won world championship gold medals in downhill in 2007 and 2013, and two season-long World Cup downhill titles. "I'm extremely happy", said Svindal. "I think it's incredible what he's achieved".

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Aksel Lund Svindal claimed a second Winter Olympics gold medal in thrilling fashion, winning the men's downhill on Thursday. He had been tipped as the man to beat by Austrian great Franz Klammer, who won downhill Olympic gold in 1976. "Honestly, I didn't care about that at all, I just wanted to win".

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