Swiss skier Marco Odermatt wins giant slalom for 2nd gold medal at worlds


Swiss skier Marco Odermatt won the men’s giant slalom Friday for his second gold medal at the world championships.

Odermatt, who is the Olympic giant slalom champion, was second after the opening run but beat Swiss teammate Loic Meillard by 0.32 seconds.

First-run leader Marco Schwarz of Austria finished 0.40 seconds behind to take the bronze medal.

“I actually didn’t expect to win,” Odermatt said. “Marco skied so well in the first run. He did some mistakes in the second, that helped me for gold.”

Many fans were waving Swiss flags in the stands and chanted “Odi, Odi” when Odermatt won.

“It’s amazing. So many great Swiss fans here, family, friends,” Odermatt said. “I came to the finish and I had to count a little bit. Yeah, two medals today for us.”

Odermatt also won gold in downhill five days ago. He had not won a medal in his eight previous world championship races.

No Canadians reached the second run.

WATCH | Full coverage of the 2nd run:

FIS Alpine world ski championships: Men’s giant slalom run 2

Watch the final run of the men’s giant slalom event at the FIS Alpine world ski championships in Courchevel, France.

400th gold medal in world championships history

Odermatt has been dominating the giant slalom on the World Cup circuit, winning four of the five events he competed in this season. The Swiss skier is on his way to successfully defending the overall World Cup title he won last year.

Schwarz won the combined title at the worlds two years ago and was the 2020-21 World Cup slalom champion but has yet to win a top-level giant slalom.

Schwarz won bronze in giant slalom at the worlds two years ago but only got his first World Cup podium in the discipline in the last race before the worlds, in Schladming, Austria in January.

“Overall I am satisfied. I had a couple of mistakes in my second run that you cannot make on this level,” said the Austrian, who led Odermatt by 0.58 seconds after the opening run. “The pressure was a bit more than usual. I tried to keep the focus and I managed to do that well. Odi has been dominating the GS for two years now, so you have to acknowledge that.”

Austrian skiers have yet to win an event at this year’s championships, two years after the team led the medals table at the worlds in Italy with five golds.

The gold medal awarded in the men’s giant slalom was the 400th in world championships history. The first gold was won by British skier Esme Mackinnon in women’s slalom at the 1931 worlds in Switzerland.

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