WENGEN, Switzerland (Reuters) – Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde denied Marco Odermatt a second successive World Cup victory on home snow as he beat the Swiss by a narrow margin to win the Wengen downhill on Friday.
One day after finishing second in the super-G to the 24-year-old Odermatt, who was making his maiden World Cup start on the Lauberhorn, Kilde charged down the course in one minute and42.42 seconds.
He beat Odermatt by 0.19 seconds with another Swiss, Beat Feuz, ending up third 0.30 seconds off the pace after putting down the early marker.
Kilde’s victory allowed him to move top of the downhill World Cup standings on 269 points, 12 ahead of Austrian Matthias Mayer and 13 ahead of Italian Dominik Paris, who started with the red bib but had to settle for ninth.
In the overall World Cup standings, Odermatt has 1,025 points to Kilde’s 649 with Mayer a further 102 points behind.
Vincent Kriechmayr, who was cleared to take part in the race by a jury decision despite not taking part in the training runs after being released late from a COVID-19 quarantine, did well in the opening section but gradually lost his momentum to end up in 12th place.
“We didn’t make that decision because it’s Mr. Kriechmayr who is a world champion and who has won here. We would make that decision for every skier, because we live in very complicated pandemic times,” said FIS (International Skiing Federation) race director Markus Waldner.
Swiss Carlo Janka, who will retire after Saturday’s second downhill on the longest course, was 11th, according to provisional results.
Janka, winner of the overall World Cup and giant slalom Olympic title in 2010, one year after being crowned giant slalom world champion, is ending his career for health reasons.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)