DIMITAR DILKOFF/Getty Images
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher took the gold in the men’s Alpine combined event on Tuesday at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a time of two minutes, 6.52 seconds.
France’s Alexis Pinturault was close behind with a time of 2:06.75 and took silver, while fellow Frenchman Victor Muffat-Jeandet rounded out the podium places after a combined time of 2:07.54.
Germany’s Thomas Dressen had held a narrow lead after the downhill section with a time of 1:19.24, but he finished ninth overall.
After a downhill section that ran on a shortened course, starting from a gate usually reserved for the super-G, the slalom ran somewhat more smoothly, though the skiers were affected by the occasional strong gust of wind.
Former Alpine skier Chemmy Alcott gave her take on the slalom course:
Chemmy Alcott @ChemmySki
This looks like one of the tougher Combi Slalom tracks. Slick surface, tight, technical turns and little room to make a lot of time back #alpinecombined #bbcolympics
Muffat-Jeandet was the first out of the gate, and despite coming 29th in the downhill run, he set the benchmark with a strong time of 45.97 seconds.
Indeed, he retained the lead after half the field had run the slalom, but Hirscher’s attempt saw him leapfrog the Frenchman by more than a second overall but just 0.01 ahead of his slalom time.
The Austrian picked up speed throughout his course and was fastest through the second and third intermediates despite a potentially disruptive gust of wind midway through his run.
Bill Pennington of the New York Times praised him:
Bill Pennington @billmpennington
Hirscher just destroyed the slalom portion, has the lead in Alpine combined 8 racers to go
Hirscher had won six World Championship gold medals but only had an Olympic silver to his name.
Pinturault was quicker through the first intermediate but couldn’t quite maintain his strong start, ultimately slipping in behind Hirscher by the end of the run.