MoreSport ENSport.Slajder

Like father, like son: Olympic combined gold for Austria’s Strolz

Austria's Johannes Strolz emulated his father when he came from behind to win alpine skiing combined Olympic gold at the Beijing Games on Thursday.

Yanqing, China, 10 February 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Austria’s Johannes Strolz emulated his father when he came from behind to win alpine skiing combined Olympic gold at the Beijing Games on Thursday.

Placed a strong fourth after the downhill portion and in striking distance, Strolz added the fastest run in his specialty discipline, the slalom, for his biggest career victory.

Downhill leader Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway did surprisingly well in the slalom leg to secure silver .59 of a second back, to go with super-g bronze from Tuesday.

Bronze another nine-hundredths back went to Canada’s James Crawford, after just missing the downhill podium in fourth on Monday and coming sixth in the super-g.

Strolz is the son of Hubert Strolz who won the combined event 34 years ago at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

He won his first World Cup career race last month in the slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, after being dropped from the Austrian top team last year and now having to train and prepare his equipment on his own.

Compatriot Marco Schwarz, the world champion, was unable to make the most of a good downhill run in the slalom as he had to settle for fifth, ahead of Israel’s Barnabas Szollos was an impressive sixth thanks to the second best slalom run.

French contender Alexis Pinturault, a former world champion and two-time silver medalist at the worlds and Olympics, crashed out in the slalom and so did Swiss Loic Meillard.

The alpine combined which in its current format twins a downhill and a slalom run is no longer contested on the World Cup. Only 27 athletes competed on Thursday, down from 65 in 2018, as skiers more and more specialize on speed or technical disciplines.

To make conditions more fair for the speed skiers, the second run does not take place in reverse order of the first as in a regular slalom but in the order of the downhill finish which allowed Kilde to go first and open a pristine piste.

Back to top button
Close