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Alpine skiing news - Kjetil Jansrud denies Svindal fairytale finish with gold run at World Champions

Jansrud denies Svindal fairytale finish with gold run at World Championships
By Eurosport

09/02/2019 at 13:38Updated 09/02/2019 at 14:52

Kjetil Jansrud led a Norwegian one-two to win gold in a weather-hit men's downhill at the Alpine skiing world championships on Saturday, edging out team mate Aksel Lund Svindal by the narrowest of margins.

Jansrud, 33, made light of the falling snow and poor visibility to win by 0.02 seconds and claim a first world title, having won the Olympic Super-G gold at Sochi in 2014.

Video - Aksel Lund Svindal: 'It's so emotional, but I'm super happy with my final race'


Olympic downhill champion Svindal, who will end his glittering career after the championships, came agonisingly close to becoming the first man to win three downhill world titles - a small mistake in the closing stages of his run probably costing the 36-year-old a fairytale gold.

"It’s so emotional for me. Right now, I am just super happy with this race – of course being the last one and with their being so many Norwegians here. I thought it would be the right thing to do to give it a hell of a show – Jansrud first and me second," said Svindal.

"Coming in I was two hundredths behind and there was a six tenths gap to Matthias Mayer – I was thinking this is looking pretty good. Last year, Kjetil and I did the same thing in the Olympics but I won the gold, so he deserves it today.

"Kjetil is nearly as old as I am so he will take over the dad character for sure! I think we have a cool team, we work hard on that too. How many days do you get like this every year? This is like one in a thousand, or one in a hundred. You really have to make it a life worth living as a downhill skier. "

"It's been an emotional couple of weeks, and I was ready to get this over with to be honest and hammer it one last time and that’s it! I am happy we did well today."

Video - Kjetil Jansrud: 'You ski with your heart'


Svindal becomes only the third man to win medals at six different world championships.

Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr was third, 0.33 seconds back, to earn his second medal of the week after sharing silver with Johan Clarey in the Super-G.

Video - 'Unbelievable scenes!' - Jansrud claims gold with stunning run


Jansrud had an anxious wait in the finish because Austrian Hannes Reichelt, one of the favourites, was the 45th starter.

However, despite a strong start a big error wiped out his chances and the Norwegian's celebrations could start.

Video - Run of the Day: Svindal says goodbye in style


The race had been delayed for an hour with low cloud at the top of the course but organisers decided to run it despite heavy snow falling throughout.

After silver medals in combined and Super-G in the last two world championships, Jansrud, who has struggled in the speed events this season, finally made it one step further up the podium as he beat his great friend and rival.

"We've been lucky enough to share a few one-twos," Jansrud said in the finish after Austrian Hannes Reichelt, the 45th starter despite wearing bib number one, failed to threaten to spoil the Vikings' party.

"I had missed a (world gold) until now so that makes it bigger. Doing this in Aksel's last race is a real honour. It's a perfect day.

Video - Otmar Striedinger suffers horror finish on world downhill run


"I brought everything I had in my heart and mind today."

Super-G winner Dominik Paris, who came sixth, suggested the race should not have been run.

"It was tough with the weather," the Italian said. "I'm happy for Aksel in his last race but maybe they shouldn't have started today. It was foggy, then it started snowing hard and there was too much snow on the race line."

Reichelt, one of the quickest in the training runs, had deliberately given himself a low starting place by not showing up for the bib ceremony, but his gamble backfired as he got snagged in some soft snow and lost time.

Switzerland's Beat Feuz, who was bidding to become the first man to successfully defend the downhill world title since compatriot Bernhard Russi won in 1970 and in 1972, was fourth.