Friday, April 18, 2014
By Andrew Dampf
Ap Sports Writer
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Sandro Viletta of Switzerland stunned the favorites and won the Olympic super-combined title Friday in a spring-like race.
Switzerland’s Sandro Viletta nears the finish in the slalom portion of the men’s super-combined to win the gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Friday.
The Associated Press
United States’ Bode Miller nears the finish of the slalom portion in the men’s super-combined.
The Associated Press
Viletta finished in a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 45.20 seconds.
Ivica Kostelic of Croatia took the silver medal in this event for the third consecutive Olympics, 0.34 behind, and Christof Innerhofer of Italy took bronze, 0.47 behind, to add to his silver from downhill.
Viletta stood only 14th after the downhill portion but he put down the second-fastest slalom run and then waited as one skier after another failed to catch him.
The 28-year-old Viletta has won only one World Cup race in his career, a super-G in Beaver Creek, Colo., in December 2011. His best super-combined result came in Wengen, Switzerland, last month when he was fourth.
Downhill leader Kjetil Jansrud of Norway finished fourth.
The medalists were determined by adding the times together from one downhill run and one slalom leg.
The temperature soared to 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) shortly before the start of the slalom leg, turning the snow to slush.
Defending champion Bode Miller made a big mistake during his downhill run and finished sixth, while world champion Ted Ligety had a ragged slalom leg and placed 12th.
Norwegian standout Aksel Lund Svindal finished in a tie for eighth with former overall World Cup winner Carlo Janka of Switzerland.
French contender Alexis Pinturault went out toward the end of his slalom leg – one of many racers who struggled with a difficult course set by Kostelic’s father, Ante.
While he hadn’t gained much attention entering this race, Viletta finished fifth in the super-combi at last year’s world championships, and he was sixth in the event at the 2009 worlds.