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Austrian shocks his rivals at Sochi

NEW CHAMP: Matthias Mayer.
NEW CHAMP: Matthias Mayer. Getty Images

UNHERALDED Austrian Matthias Mayer upset his idols to take home gold in the blue riband event at the Winter Olympics yesterday - the men's downhill.

Twenty six years after his father Helmut won silver at the 1988 Games in Calgary in the giant slalom, Mayer claimed gold ahead of pre-race favourites American Bode Miller and world downhill champion Aksel Lund Svindal, from Norway, who finished eighth and fourth, respectively.

Mayer overcame a poor upper section to storm to gold. He clocked 2min 06.23sec down the 3.5km-long course to claim the first Austrian downhill gold since Fritz Stroebl in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

The 23-year-old had never won a major international downhill event but held on yesterday after earlier this week naming both Svindal and the 36-year-old Miller as his "idols and role models".

Mayer beat off the challenge of Italian Christof Innerhofer, who took silver at just six-hundredths behind, with Norway's Kjetil Jansrud a further 0.04 second adrift, taking bronze.

For Svindal and Miller, who each claimed a gold, silver and bronze at the Vancouver Games in 2010, there was disappointment.

 

1. Norway

10
4
7
2. United States
8
6
11
3. Germany
8
7
7
4. Russia
7
9
7
5. Canada
7
9
4
6. Netherlands
6
7
9
7. Switzerland
6
3
2
8. Belarus
5
0
1
9. France
4
4
7
10. Poland
4
0
0
22. Australia
0
2
1

Topics:  sochi winter olympics