BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) - While in-form Kjetil Jansrud will be the top drawcard in the men’s Super-G at the world championships on Wednesday, defending champion Ted Ligety will be tough to beat at one of his favorite venues.
American Ligety, who won three gold medals at the 2013 worlds in Schladming, has produced a stellar record over the years down the plunging Birds of Prey piste at Beaver Creek where he is sure to be spurred on by his home fans.
“You couldn’t ask for a better venue for me,” Ligety, 30, told Reuters on Tuesday during training for the men’s showcase downhill.
”I’ve done really well here in multiple disciplines, so of the hills that we could have world championships on, this is one that definitely suits me.
“Grand slalom, is of course, my main goal here but I have a really good shot at the Super-G and the combined as well. Winning three golds again is not a realistic goal but it’s possible.”
Ligety has not been at his very best this season while racing with four screws inserted into his left hand after breaking his wrist in a training accident two months ago.
“It’s not ideal,” said the Olympic and world giant slalom champion, who has been preparing for this month’s world championships back at home in Park City, Utah.
”It hurts a lot in slalom and it makes me not super-excited to drag my hand on the snow in the other disciplines.
“But I’ve survived and it’s been okay,” added Ligety, who clinched his 24th World Cup career win at Beaver Creek last month in the giant slalom.
Norwegian Jansrud headlines the Super-G field at Beaver Creek after winning twice in that discipline this season, and five times overall, though he has yet to land a world championship medal in four team appearances.
Jansrud will be aiming to become only the second man to win the Super-G title at the worlds as the reigning Olympic champion, Austrian Hermann Maier having achieved the feat in nearby Vail in 1999.
Also likely to compete in the Super-G on Wednesday is fellow Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, the Olympic champion in that discipline in 2010 who has been recovering from an Achilles tendon injury.
Editing by Frank Pingue