Svindal gold in super G; Bode takes silver; Weibrecht of U.S. is third
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
WHISTLER, British Columbia – Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the men’s super G title Friday, denying American Bode Miller his first Olympic gold medal.
Svindal won in 1 minute, 30.34 seconds on a tough, icy track that gave many racers problems staying within the painted blue lines guiding the course.
Miller was second, trailing by 0.28 seconds, and Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid, N.Y., was 0.31 behind Svindal in third, giving the U.S. six Alpine medals in four races in the Vancouver Games.
Svindal took silver in the downhill won by Switzerland’s Didier Defago on Monday, edging Miller into the bronze medal slot.
The 27-year-old Svindal peaked at the right time after a difficult season trying to defend his World Cup overall title. He had a knee injury in October and was sidelined by a strength-sapping bout of flu over the New Year’s holiday.
“It’s been a lot of work getting to where I need to be for winning races,” Svindal said.
Svindal threw both arms in the air as he crossed the finish line and held the pose for the crowd. He then stretched his arms out wide and, pushing his palms upward, urged the crowd to cheer louder.
Miller looked on clapping with a big smile on his face from the leader’s standing spot, in front of television cameras beside the finish area.
Miller’s fourth career Olympic medal makes him the most decorated American Alpine skier in history.
The 32-year-old Miller and 24-year-old Weibrecht became the first American men to get medals in the same Alpine event since brothers Phil and Steve Mahre went 1-2 in slalom at the 1984 Sarajevo Games. Americans Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso were 1-2 in the women’s downhill Wednesday.
It was the first elite-level podium finish for Weibrecht, who has never finished better than 10th in a World Cup race. That was in the downhill at Beaver Creek, Colo., in November 2007.
“I haven’t ever come down leading a race,” said the Lake Placid, N.Y., native. He started third and “figured I would stay in there until 10 guys came down.”
Svindal, starting No. 19, eight places after Miller, trailed the American by 0.30 second at the first time split but made up the difference and had a 0.02 lead at the halfway point. He extended his lead along the bottom half of the course.
The big Norwegian was clocked at 114.8 kph (71.3 mph) at a speed check where Miller went through at 100.9 kph (62.7 mph).
Miller delivered an expert run that challenged racers’ ability to be fast while showing technical skills to keep control through the turns.
Even Weibrecht went wide early in his run and launched into the air at one jump, with his left ski high in the air before landing well.
Svindal continued Norwegian dominance of a race that was added to the Olympic program at the 1988 Calgary Games. Norway’s great Kjetil Andre Aamodt won it in 1992, 2002 and 2006 – giving the Scandinavian nation a 4-for-7 record in the event’s Olympic history.
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