Thursday, February 22, 2018

Andre Myhrer Wins Gold in Men's Slalom

Sweden's Andre Myhrer won the men's Olympic slalom on Thursday at the age of 35, as his two main rivals dropped out of medal contention.
Skiing in his fourth Games and cheered on by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Myhrer won by 0.34 seconds from Ramon Zenhaeusern of Switzerland and by 0.67 from Michael Matt of Austria.
Pre-race favourite Marcel Hirscher dropped out following a bad mistake half-way through the first run, while Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen had a challenging second run.
"I think if you win the gold medal at the Olympics, which has been a big goal of mine throughout my career, it's something not many athletes are able to do and this was my last chance. This tops everything", Myhrer said after improving on the bronze he won in Vancouver in 2010.
Silver medallist Ramon Zenhaeusern won the third medal for Switzerland in the men's slalom, after Edi Reinalter won gold in 1948 and Jacques Luthy took bronze in 1980.
This was Zenhaeusern's second podium finish in a major competition (World Cup, world championships, Olympic Winter Games) after he won the city event in Stockholm on 30 January 2018.
"It's just crazy. It's like in a dream, I haven't realised it yet and I think it will happen some days for realising that, it's unbelievable", said Zenhaeusern.
Michael Matt, the brother of 2014 slalom champion Mario, put in the fastest second run at 50.66 seconds to move up nine places from 12th.
"My brother called me after the first run, which is always bad news as it means I’ve done badly. I made a mistake in the second run as well and thought I didn’t have a chance of the podium. That makes it all the more satisfying", he said.
The contest had been thrown wide open by Hirscher's shock failure in his favorite event as he chased his third gold medal of the Games.
That seemed to open the door to his arch-rival Kristoffersen, who set the fastest time of the morning to lead Myhrer by 0.21 seconds, but he skied out early on his second run as the Swede looked on from the foot of the course.
"I'm not disappointed. Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all", said the Norwegian, who after years of close rivalry with Hirscher must have wondered if his day had come at last.

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