Salem Radio Network News Monday, May 21, 2018


Alpine skiing: Dressen fastest, Hirscher well-placed in combined

By Simon Evans

PYEONGCHANG (Reuters) – Germany’s Thomas Dressen posted the fastest time in the downhill stage of the men’s combined at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Tuesday but Austria’s Marcel Hirscher is well placed to make a push for his long-awaited first Olympic gold in the slalom.

After the opening 30 runners, Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal was second fastest, 0.07 seconds behind Dressen, with Austrian Matthias Mayer third and another Norwegian, Kjetil Jansrud, in fourth place, 0.27 seconds off the lead.

Following two days of weather postponements, the Alpine action finally got under way at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre but the strong winds remained a factor.

Organizers opted to go ahead with an adjusted downhill stage, racing lower down the course at the designated super-G start and using the ‘blue wind line’ which made for easier jumps.

Dressen was first out and completed the course in one minute, 19.24 seconds and Hirscher, second down, was 1.32 seconds slower.

Hirscher, whose all-round skills have delivered six successive overall World Cup titles with a seventh currently within his grasp, will be delighted to go into his favored slalom stage within touching distance of the lead.

The winds soon got up and caused problems on the relatively benign jumps, however.

Russian Pavel Trikhichev and American Ryan Cochran-Siegle both crashed out after clipping gates and France’s Victor Muffat-Jeandet struggled in the conditions to leave himself 2.33 seconds behind Dressen.

“My run was not so good, I don’t know why. Maybe I went too hard, I made some mistakes on the line. Maybe the conditions weren’t so good but now I have to focus on the slalom. In the combined you never know,” Muffat-Jeandet told reporters.

Italian Peter Fill somehow managed to land safely when the wind caught him midway through a jump and forced him into an awkward position.

The slalom stage is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT)

(Reporting by Simon Evans and Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O’Brien)

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