Swiss skier Odermatt wins to go top of GS standings

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Marco Odermatt won a men’s World Cup giant slalom on Saturday to go top of the discipline standings with one race remaining.

The Swiss skier had a blistering final run as he improved from fourth position to win the race by more than a second.

Odermatt overtook his main rival in the GS standings, Alexis Pinturault, and built a lead of 25 points. A race win is worth 100 points.

The Frenchman finished Saturday’s race in fourth.

One more GS is scheduled — at the season-ending finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, next week.

“I really don’t know how I managed to do this today. I was tired,” Odermatt said. “My emotions are somewhere, I don’t know where. I am really happy about my skiing today.”

Pinturault and Odermatt are ranked 1-2 in the overall standings, with the Frenchman’s lead now reduced to just 31 points.

However, Pinturault was expected to gain points again in Sunday’s slalom, an event which Odermatt will be sitting out.

Odermatt also has a shot at the super-G title next week in the Swiss skier’s breakout season on the World Cup.

A four-time gold medalist at the 2018 junior world championships, Odermatt won his first World Cup race last season, before adding three more wins in the current campaign.

In December, he ended a 10-year Swiss victory drought in men’s giant slaloms.

On Saturday, Odermatt led a Swiss 1-2 finish, 1.06 seconds ahead of Loïc Meillard, who was fastest in the opening run but posted only the 26th-fastest time in the final run.

It was Meillard’s seventh career podium, including one win from a parallel GS a year ago.

Stefan Brennsteiner of Austria was 1.09 behind in third, two weeks after he had the first top-three result of his career.

His teammate Marco Schwarz opted not to start. The combined world champion hurt his back in training this week and preferred to rest ahead of Sunday’s slalom, the Austria’s strongest discipline.


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