ALPINE SKIING: Norway’s Jansrud and Svindal exchange places in men’s Downhill

Norway's World Champion Kjetil Jansrud

At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang (KOR), the men’s Downhill saw Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud claim the gold and silver medals.

They reversed that order on Saturday morning in Are (SWE), with Jansrud winning his first World Championship gold.

The conditions weren’t the best, with a hard snowfall on the course and the event delayed for a few hours. But when the skiing started, the results were strong. Of the expected medal contenders, Austria’s Matthias Mayer took the lead in the fifth position with a 1:20.63 time.

But Jansrud was next and skied aggressively, coming to the line hard, and was rewarded with a stunning 1:19.98 time that was clearly going to be hard to beat. Svindal, the World Champion in this event in 2007 and 2013, was just as fast and skied all out as he had previously announced that he would retire after this race.

He crossed the line in 1:20:00, just .02 behind his teammate and leaving very little room for the rest of the challengers. Starting 13th, Super-G winner Dominik Paris (ITA) finished in 1:20.72 and ended up sixth. Defending champion Beat Feuz (SUI) started 15th and skied well, but his 1:20.42 left him only third. He dropped to fourth as Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), who tied for second in the Super-G, claimed the bronze medal at 1:20.31. None of the following skiers could do better than 11th place.

Norway has not been a factor until recently in the Downhill. Jansrud’s win in the third World Championship in the event in the last seven editions and broke a streak of two straight wins by Swiss skiers. Jansrud, 33, now has three World Championships medals, with one each in the Downhill, Super-G (2017 silver) and Combined (2015 silver).

For the retiring Svindal, he leaves – at age 36 – as one of the great speed skiers in history. He won four Olympic medals (two gold), seven World Championships medals (five gold), two overall World Cup titles (2007-09), won 36 World Cup races and 80 World Cup medals. He is no. 2 all-time in World Cup Super-G victories with 17.

Kriechmayr, 27, is having a fine Worlds with two medals and leads the World Cup Super-G standings; he’s having a career year as well.

The U.S. has a good showing in the Downhill, with Bryce Bennett tying for ninth and Ryan Cochran-Siegle finishing 12th.

The Worlds continue with the Women’s Downhill on Sunday. Look for results here. Summaries:

FIS Alpine World Championships
Are (SWE) ~ 5-17 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Downhill: 1. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), 1:19.98; 2. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), 1:20.00; 3. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:20.31; 4. Beat Feuz (SUI), 1:20.42; 5. Matthias Mayer (AUT), 1:20.63; 6. Dominik Paris (ITA), 1:20.72; 7. Benjamin Thomsen (CAN), 1:20.73; 8. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), 1:20.80. Also: 9 (tie). Bryce Bennett (USA), 1:20.81; … 12. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA), 1:21.00; … 23. Steven Nyman (USA), 1:21.55; … 26. Travis Ganong (USA), 1:21.63.

Men’s Super-G: 1. Paris (ITA), 1:24.20; 2. tie, Johan Clarey (FRA) and Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:24.29; 4. Christof Innerhofer (ITA), 1:24.55; 5. Adrien Theaux (FRA), 1:24.57; 6. Josef Ferstl (GER), 1:24.59; 7. Brice Roger (FRA), 1:24.61; 8. tie, Mattia Casse (ITA), Nyman (USA) and Adrian Sejersted (NOR), 1:24.70. Also in the top 25: 11. Cochran-Siegle (USA), 1:24.73; … 23. Bennett (USA), 1:25.82.

Women’s Super-G: 1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 1:04.89; 2. Sofia Goggia (ITA), 1:04.91; 3. Corinne Suter (SUI), 1:04.94; 4. Viktor Rebensburg (GER), 1:04.96; 5. Nadia Fanchini (ITA), 1:05.03; 6. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR), 1:05.05; 7. Francesca Marsaglia (ITA), 1:05.13; 8. Ilka Stuhec (SLO), 1:05.15; 9. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI), 1:05.37; 10. Federica Brignone (ITA), 1:05.43. Also in the top 25: 22. Alice Merryweather (USA), 1:07.22.

Women’s Combined: 1. Wendy Holdener (SUI), 2:02:13 (5th in Downhill + 3rd in Slalom); 2. Petra Vlhova (SVK), 2:02.16 (8+2); 3. Mowinckel (NOR), 2:02.58 (3+6); 4. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT), 2:02.62 (1+8); 5. Roni Remme (CAN), 2:02.26 (28+1); 6. Brignone (ITA), 2:03.52 (6+10); 7. Kasja Vickhoff Lie (NOR), 2:03.64 (15+5); 8. Franziska Gritsch (AUT), 2:03.82 (29+4). Also: 18. Merryweather (USA), 2:06.63 (10+21).