News ID: 210103
Published: 0317 GMT February 16, 2018

Mayer wins super-G to end Norway dominance

Mayer wins super-G to end Norway dominance
Austria’s Matthias Mayer competes in the men’s super-G at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, on February 16, 2018.

Austria’s Matthias Mayer made up for the disappointment of his injury-hampered downhill title defense at the PyeongChang Olympics by skiing an error-free run to win the men’s super-G on Friday, ending 16 years of Norwegian dominance of the event.

A day after Aksel Lund Svindal became the first man to have won golds in both the Olympic men’s speed events, the Sochi downhill champion matched him with a masterclass in turning at pace down the Jeongseon slope, Reuters reported.

Disregarding the pain of the hip injury he sustained when he collided with a TV cameraman during Tuesday’s combined, Mayer carved his way down the mountain in one minute, 24.44 seconds in perfect conditions at the Jeongseon Alpine Center.

“Four years ago I won the downhill and now today I‘m Olympic champion in super-G. I have no words for that,” said Mayer, who finished ninth in the downhill on Thursday.

“I was not sure thinking about my hip today. There was a point when I thought I might not be able to run the downhill and it’s still a bit blue but the medical guys have done a great job.”

It was a second super-G medal for the Mayer family after Matthias’s father Helmut won a silver in the inaugural running of the event at Calgary in 1988 and brought the title back to Austria two decades after Hermann Maier’s triumph in Nagano.

“I’ve been looking at my dad’s silver medal in our living room all my life and I‘m happy to have my own now,” Mayer added.

Swiss Beat Feuz finished third behind Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud in Thursday’s downhill but produced a beautifully controlled run of 1:24.57 straight after Mayer to claim silver 0.13 seconds behind the Austrian.

“Yesterday’s bronze medal was already special,” said the downhill world champion.

”But today to get the silver medal in a discipline where I was nobody’s favorite is even better.

Svindal, the 2010 champion, was fifth in 1:24.93 behind French surprise package Blaise Giezendanner (1.24.82) after nearly fouling on the final gate when he lost control of a ski approaching the line.


Hanyu heroics


Defending Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu hypnotized a delirious crowd with a stellar short program at the PyeongChang Olympics on Friday, reasserting his dominance of men’s figure skating after a lengthy absence from competition.

Hanyu executed all his jumps and spins with exceptional technique and grace, earning him first place and 111.68 points – just 1.04 away from his personal best score and world record and a key step toward becoming the first man in 66 years to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating golds.

Hanyu, who had not competed since October last year because of an ankle injury, took to the ice as a horde of Japanese fans shouted “Fight!” and was showered with Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals at the end of his performance.

”I just felt happy to skate and be on the ice again,“ Hanyu told reporters.

”I‘m satisfied with every element and I‘m really happy because I was really the feeling the music.

“I just thought to do my best. I wanted to say to everyone ‘I‘m back’.”

Asked if he felt pressure to be back on the world stage after being months away, which included a long time off the ice and reintroducing quad jumps only a bit over two weeks ago, Hanyu, who’d said he felt frustrated not to compete, said no.

“When I arrived here and was able to skate without injury, I just simply felt happy. It was fun to skate.”

Six-time European champion Javier Fernandez expertly executed his crowd-pleasing program to earn 107.58 points, finishing in second place.

“I‘m feeling good, I had a great day,” he told reporters. “This season I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and I‘m happy that today I just started the short program really well.”

Japan’s Shoma Uno hung on to land his triple Axel, earning 104.17 points and third place, while China’s Jin Boyang finished fourth with 103.32 points.


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