Sunday, February 18, 2018

Marcel Hirscher Wins Giant Slalom and Grabs 2nd Gold Medal in Pyeongchang 2018

Pre-race favorite Marcel Hirscher of Austria lived up to and exceeded the hype on Sunday at PyeongChang 2018 as he claimed his second gold medal of these Olympic Winter Games in the men's giant slalom. The master craftsman who seemed only to be missing Olympic gold from his resume prior to his trip to South Korea now has two to his name. With his victory, he became the 10th male alpine skier to win multiple gold medals at a single Winter Games and the first since his fellow countryman Benni Raich in 2006.
Despite a hefty lead after the first run, Hirscher did not let up on his second run and ultimately bested the field by a massive 1.27 seconds. Not since Jean-Claude Killy won the 1968 GS by more than 2 seconds had there been such a wide gap between first and second.
"Wow. It was not so easy to be the absolute favorite in this discipline, then sitting up there as the leader from the first run knowing that Henrik ripped it. I had no choice, I knew I have to give 100 percent and I have to go into this battle", Hirscher told reporters.
His nearest competitor was the familiar face of Henrik Kristoffersen, but the Norwegian had to battle back from 10th place after the first run to secure the second Olympic medal of his career and first in giant slalom with silver.
"Marcel is at the moment unbeatable in giant slalom... At the moment he's just way better than anybody else", said Kristoffersen.The second-place challenger from the first run, Alexis Pinturault of France, skied an equally solid second run to finish with bronze, matching his performance at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and adding to his alpine combined silver from earlier at PyeongChang 2018.
"It was a good fight but Marcel was a step ahead as he has been all year", said the Frenchman,
Clear weather but challenging course setting, changing snow conditions from top to bottom, and the intensity of the Games proved quite difficult for a number of the world's best competitors.

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