5/5 © Reuters. Men’s FIS Super-G Alpine Ski World Championship 2/5
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (Reuters) – Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr survived a late scare to claim the first major gold medal of his career in a tough men’s super-G at the alpine skiing world championships on Thursday. Former Austrian running back Romed Baumann took silver for Germany with a 0.07 slower time following a run from 20th on the starting list. His performance led the absolute leader of the French World Cup, Alexis Pinturault, best known for his technical skiing, to bronze, his first medal in a discipline of pure speed. Starting fifth, Kriechmayr had already had to stay focused after the first three riders got annoyed by the initial jump on Cortina d’Ampezzo’s tricky new Vertigine track and failed to finish. “I saw the guys perform with the number one, two, three and they all lost the gate, so it was a very difficult race for me,” he said. Baumann, 35, was the first modern-age skier to win world championship medals with two different countries, having earned a bronze at the Austrian team in 2013 in the local snow of Schladming. “It‘s very special. It’s good to give something back. They (Germany) took me when I was down and believed in me and it’s a great feeling,” said the skier, who started the year very low in the standings. “I thought if I had the chance it would be downhill, but to do it on the first day is incredible,” added Baumann. Italy’s great hope Dominik Paris, the defending world champion in the discipline, finished fifth behind Canadian Brodie Seger – fourth with a 28th starting number – and Austrian Olympic champion Matthias Mayer in sixth. “I was ready to compete for a medal today, but unfortunately I made a big mistake at the top,” Mayer said. Nine of the top 30 starters failed to finish on a hard and icy course set by Italian Alberto Ghidone. The super-G on a cold and sunny afternoon was the first men’s race of a championship whose first three days were swept away by snow, wind and fog in the Italian Dolomites. The female super-G ran in the morning. The two-week championships are held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.