PyeongChang, Feb 13 (IANS) Austrian Marcel Hirscher, a serial World Cup winner, won the first Olympic gold medal of his career on Tuesday after topping the Men’s Alpine Combined Slalom at the Winter Olympic Games here.
The 28-year-old Hirscher, who has won six overall World Cup titles, came into PyeongChang with just one silver medal from his two previous Olympic Games, reports Efe.
The Austrian finished the first run in 1:20.56, and his second in 45.96 for a total of 2:06.52 — 0.23 seconds ahead of runner-up Alexis Pinturault of France.
“Everyone is saying, ‘Nice career, but an Olympic gold medal is still missing’. This is perfect, unbelievable. A dream coming true. All the people expected me to win a gold medal, especially in Austria, my home country, where skiing is big,” Hirscher said.
Hirscher ended Austria’s longest gold medal-drought in a men’s Alpine skiing event at the Winter Games, winning the country’s first Olympic title in a men’s combination event since Mario Reiter won at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.
Pinturault’s compatriot Victor Muffat-Jeandet followed 0.77 seconds late, 1.02 seconds behind the winner.
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Ted Ligety was placed just outside the top three, an agonising 0.1 seconds behind Muffat-Jeandet.