Slalom run earns Hirscher combined gold

Sun Feb 8, 2015 6:53pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) - Technical specialist Marcel Hirscher pulled off a pulsating and unexpected win in the men's super combined on Sunday to tighten Austria's grip atop the medal table at the alpine ski world championships.

More than three seconds off the pace after the morning downhill, Hirscher produced a storming run down a sun-bathed Birds of Prey course in the slalom to clock a winning time of two minutes 36.10 seconds.

"It is unbelievable," slalom world champion Hircher, 25, said after clinching the third gold medal of his career at the worlds.

"My plans for these championships were, in the best case, to catch one medal, it doesn't matter which color.

"So I reached my goals and everything that happens now is just super good," said the Austrian, the overall World Cup champion for the past three years.

Downhill expert Kjetil Jansrud of Norway, who had led after the morning, finished 0.19 seconds behind to claim his first ever medal at the worlds with defending champion Ted Ligety of the United States taking third.

"That was a special day for me considering I came into the speed races being the favorite and not getting anything in return," said Jansrud, who finished fourth in the Super-G and 15th in the blue riband downhill.

"And now, getting a medal after what was a decent slalom run, I must say."   Continued...

Marcel Hirscher of Austria competes during the first run of the men's Alpine Skiing World Cup night slalom in Schaldming January 27, 2015.       REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler