Svindal joins ski greats with second downhill win

Sat Feb 9, 2013 7:11am EST
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By Manuele Lang

SCHLADMING, Austria (Reuters) - Aksel Lund Svindal joined an illustrious group on Saturday when he became world downhill champion for the second time after finishing third in Wednesday's super-G.

The Norwegian clocked two minutes 01.32 seconds on the Planai piste to emulate Toni Sailer, Jean-Claude Killy and Bernhard Russi with a second victory in an event no skier has won three times.

"It's a huge achievement for me to clinch another gold medal today in such a difficult race. I was so tired in my mind and body crossing the finish line after fighting so hard all the way down," Svindal told reporters.

"The course was very hard and even icy in some parts and the visibility was very poor too.

"I'm really proud to have been able to produce such an effort at the given moment. I was convinced I had given my best and achieved a pretty strong run."

It was the fifth world title for Svindal, who won the downhill in Are six years ago.

The 30-year-old Olympic super-G Olympic champion has now collected gold medals in the last four editions of the world championships, clinching the combined titles in 2009 and in 2011.

The twice overall World Cup winner is also the first Alpine skiing champion to win gold in five consecutive major events including the 2010 Olympics at Vancouver where he won the super-G along with silver in the downhill and bronze in the giant slalom.   Continued...

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway skis during the men's Downhill race at the World Alpine Skiing Championships in Schladming February 9, 2013. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler