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Sochi Olympics: Ligety takes gold in giant slalom


Sochi Olympics: Ligety takes gold in giant slalom


Veteran Ted Ligety produced yet another flawless run to clinch the giant slalom at the Sochi Games on Wednesday, becoming the first American man to win two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing.

The 29-year-old, who finished atop the leaderboard in Torino eight years ago, looked in great shape and completed the course in a combined time of 2 minutes, 45.29 seconds to secure the win.

France’s Steve Missilier and Alexis Pinturault came second and third respectively while Ligety’s biggest rival on the World Cup tour, Marcel Hirscher, just missed out on a podium finish after crossing the line 0.94 seconds off the pace.

Elsewhere, Finland stunned Germany to take gold in the Olympic men’s team cross country sprint.

Die Mannschaaft looked certain to secure the title but it wasn’t to be as Tim Tscharnke fell on the last descent after touching skis with Sami Jauhojaervi.

The incident nearly took out Russia’s Nikita Kriukov, but the 28-year-old held his nerve to take silver with Sweden completing the podium.

In the women’s event, Norway’s Marit Bjoergen continued her fine run of form by clinching her fifth Olympic gold medal.

Bjoergen, bidding for her 25th career victory, and partner Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg came home ahead of Finland in an impressive time of 16 minutes and 5 seconds.

Local hope Vic Wild gave the Russian crowd something to cheer about as he claimed the men’s snowboarding parallel giant slalom title.

The American-born athlete, who gained Russian citizenship three years ago after marrying former bronze medallist Alena Zavarzina, edged out Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini by the narrowest of margins in the showpiece match.

Slovenia’s Zan Kosir produced a solid run but it wasn’t to be for the 29-year-old as he eventually had to settle for bronze ahead of Patrick Bussler of Germany.

Norway secured their maiden Olympic mixed relay title in biathlon as Ole Einar Bjoerndalen became the most decorated Winter Olympian ever with 13 medals.

The 40-year-old, who also claimed the 10km sprint gold in Sochi, looked in control and eventually outclassed Emil Hegle Svendsen by 43 seconds with the Czech Republic and Italy finishing second and third respectively.

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