CORTINA d’Ampezzo, Italy (AP) — Swiss skier Marco Oldermatt returned Saturday triumphantly from injury to win the men’s World Cup super-G title, 10 days away from the start of the world championships. sky.
Oldmat missed two races last week with left knee soreness, but the reigning overall champion returned to his best form at the scenic Olympia Altofane Circuit to beat his Norwegian opponent Alexander Amot Kild.
It was Oldmatt’s third Supergiant title of the season, while Kielder won the other two events.
“This is probably my most special win,” Oldmat said. “When I came back to the snow two or three days ago, it felt like I had been away for a long time. The trust in my body, in my knees was gone. It’s kind of speechless now.”
Mattia Casse is 0.49 behind the Italian for third in his career, followed by the Austrian trio of Stefan Babinsky, world super-G champion Vincent Kriechmayr and Lukas Feuerstein.
Oldermatt has not raced since injuring his left knee in an acrobatic recovery from a downhill near-crash in Kitzbuehel eight days earlier.
He went downhill again the next day and wasn’t back on the snow until Wednesday for a training session in Austria, but skipped a giant slalom in Schladming that night.
Oldmat was behind Kielder’s time early in his run, but grabbed the bottom and held the helmet with both hands after an apparently disbelieving finish.
“The adrenaline in the beginning is priceless,” says Oldmatt, who cools his knees with a bag of ice after a run.
The track in the Italian Dolomites and its marquee Tofane Schuss is a regular stop on the women’s track, but is hosting a men’s World Cup race for the first time in more than 30 years.
Three of the top four starters failed to finish as they appeared to misjudge their speed at some turns and missed the gate.
One of them was Loic Meillard, Odermatt’s Swiss teammate who won the Austrian GS on Wednesday, setting the fastest split time in the middle but missing a gate towards the end.
Christof Innerhofer crashed and slid into the safety net after hitting his face on the gate. The Italian got up and slid down, bleeding from his jaw and nose, but did not appear to be seriously injured.
Another Super-G race is scheduled for Sunday, the final men’s World Cup speed event before the Feb. 6-19 world championships in France.
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