Alpine skiing-Kilde leads combined after downhill run

Alpine skiing Kilde leads combined after downhill run

YANQING, China : Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde talked down his chances of winning a medal in the men’s combined at the Winter Olympics after taming the downhill course nicknamed ‘The Rock’ in one minute, 43.12 seconds at the Yanqing Alpine Centre on Thursday.

Canada’s James Crawford was second in the opening race, two hundredths of a second behind Kilde, with compatriot Brodie Seger in third ahead of the second run on the slalom course.

Austrian duo Johannes Strolz and Marco Schwarz were also well-placed in fourth and fifth, respectively, within a second of Kilde.

The alpine combined discipline is designed to test entrants’ all-round ability in speed and technical racing, with the entrants racing in both downhill and slalom.

Kilde fluffed his lines in the men’s downhill, the opening alpine race of the Games, on Monday, finishing outside the medal places after coming into the event as the favourite.

The 29-year-old earned a measure of consolation by winning bronze in the super-G on Tuesday and took a late call to enter the combined, but played down his chances of winning a second Olympic medal.

“I don’t think so … I haven’t skied slalom in two years,” Kilde told reporters. “It doesn’t really matter what comes, it’s going to be challenging.

“I decided (to ski the combined) pretty late because I haven’t skied slalom in two years. With my knee and everything, I didn’t really know it was going to react.

“I did a couple of runs this morning. I didn’t feel like (2018 gold medallist) Marcel Hirscher, but I felt like a speed skier.”

Pyeongchang Games combined silver medallist Alexis Pinturault of France endured a bumpy ride down the course and ended his run 1.92 seconds behind Kilde, in joint-11th place.

Swiss skier Yannick Chabloz suffered a heavy crash during the downhill, veering off the course and falling, before bouncing into the safety fencing and continuing to slide down the hill.

Chabloz was treated by medics on the hillside before being carried away on a sled.

The winners of the combined competition will be decided after the slalom is held on the technical course, known as ‘The Ice River’, from 1415 local time (0615 GMT).

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