Hirscher, fourth again, suffers Olympic jinx

Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:53am EST
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By Annika Breidthardt

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Overall World Cup leader Marcel Hirscher talked bitterly of an Olympic jinx after coming fourth in Wednesday's giant slalom, the same thankless position he claimed in Vancouver four years ago.

Hirscher, part of the Austrian men's team that left Vancouver empty handed, had been tipped as a clear medal contender in both races he is entering, the giant slalom and slalom.

"What good is fourth place to me? I might as well go home again," he told reporters after the second leg. "I didn't need to come just because it's nice here. It would have been better to quit the race than come fourth.

"I've got an Olympic jinx."

In addition to coming fourth in the giant slalom in Vancouver, the 24-year old claimed fifth place in the slalom four years ago. Asked if he would not draw motivation for Saturday's slalom, he shook his head and kept repeating "no".

"You can write up your front page title 'Rockstar Hirscher fourth again. Yippie.'"

Hirscher has been on the podium in 12 races this season. He has already won the overall World Cup - considered the ultimate skiing title - in 2012 and 2013, a feat not achieved since his compatriot Stephan Eberharter won it in 2002 and 2003.

But Hirscher said he had not felt bad throughout the race, just made "a few little mistakes" and he could not do more.   Continued...

Austria's Marcel Hirscher skis during the second run of the men's alpine skiing giant slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich