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Switzerland’s Carlo Janka wins giant slalom gold

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-23

Carlo Janka has grabbed his first Olympic giant slalom gold medal at only 23 years of age. He is the first Swiss since 1984 to win gold in this discipline.

AFP - Switzerland's Carlo Janka on Tuesday added the Olympic giant slalom crown to his world title on a day when American Bode Miller failed in his bid to set Games history.

Janka, who led after the first leg, clocked a combined total of 2min 37.83sec over the two runs down the Dave Murray course.

Norwegian outsider Kjetil Jansrud took silver at 0.39sec with team-mate Aksel Lund Svindal, who has already won super-G gold and downhill silver, claiming bronze.

"It was perfect for me, the snow was hard but not icy, good grip, perfect conditions," said Janka.

"You must always take a lot of risks. I made no big mistakes from top to finish and that was key today."

Jansrud, who finished a distant 31st in the downhill and 12th in the super-G, said he had been resigned to being knocked off the podium.

The wait "wasn't that exciting as I thought it would be because I thought more would come in ahead of me. When Aksel came down and was losing time, my heart started racing".

Svindal, whose additional bronze now matches Miller's three-medal achievement, added: "In the giant slalom I was hoping I wasn't going to get fourth.

"I knew Kjetil skied extremely well, so I wasn't surprised to see him ahead of me," said Svindal, who won giant slalom gold in the Are world championships in 2007 after finishing sixth in the Turin Olympics.

"It's cool," he said of Norway's medal showing of one gold, two silver and one bronze. "We're a close team, with small resources, it's going to get even better."

There was heartbreak for Miller, who skied out in his bid to win a record fourth alpine skiing medal at one Olympics.

The American, starting with bib number 31, looked decidely ragged in the top third of the first leg and when he tried to push the pace he lost an edge and momentum around a series of tight gates.

The 32-year-old claimed gold in the super-combined, silver in the super-G and downhill bronze as part of a US team that has taken eight of 18 medals on offer here before Tuesday's race.

There was also more woe for the Austrian men's team, which remain medal-less with just one event - the slalom - to race.

Marcel Hirscher, Romed Baumann and Benjamin Raich, the defending Olympic champion and world silver medallist, finished in fourth, fifth and sixth positions.

"I had some little problems and was a second too slow," said Baumann, second fastest down on the first run.

"It's the fourth event, we were so close -- four, five, six -- it's the worst situation you can imagine but we have a strong slalom team."

Date created : 2010-02-23

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