Odermatt wins super-G, keeps season title hopes alive


SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM, Austria — Marco Odermatt dominated the penultimate men’s World Cup super-G of the season Sunday to keep himself in the race for the discipline title.

The Swiss skier finished his gutsy run on the Schneekristall course 0.62 seconds ahead of runner-up Matthieu Bailet.

The Frenchman was the 2016 junior world champion and earned his first podium result on the World Cup circuit.

Vincent Kriechmayr, the double world champion from Austria, trailed Odermatt by 0.81 in third, a day after he won the downhill on the same hill. Another Austrian, Raphael Haaser, finished two-hundredths behind Kriechmayr in fourth.

The Swiss skier closed the gap on leader Kriechmayr in the super-G standings to 83 points, with only the season-ending race at this month’s World Cup Finals remaining.

The difference would have been an insurmountable 103 points if Bailet hadn’t separated the pair in Sunday’s race.

“The chance is very small but for me it’s a fantastic season, no matter how the battle for the globe will end,” Odermatt said.

Kriechmayr narrowly missed the super-G title last year when he trailed another Swiss skier, Mauro Caviezel, by just three points when the season was cancelled following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Kriechmayr hopes to become the first Austrian winner since Hannes Reichelt won the super-G title in 2008.

Odermatt, who won four gold medals at the 2018 junior world championships, is having his breakout season on the World Cup.

In December, he became the first Swiss skier in nearly 10 years to win a giant slalom.

His consistent performances have made him the main challenger of overall World Cup leader Alexis Pinturault.

The Frenchman finished Sunday’s race in 15th and had his advantage over Odermatt reduced to 81 points with six races left.

“Cool that I am getting closer,” Odermatt said. “The last races will decide. You cannot afford any mistakes, but you must go to the limit all the time. Winning will be very difficult.”

Pinturault was expected to extend his lead in two technical races in Slovenia next weekend, before the finals feature one race in each of the four disciplines.

Bryce Bennett led the American team in ninth, for his second top-10 result of the weekend.

The Austrian resort, which will host the 2025 world championships, stepped in for Kvitfjell, which was unable to stage the races amid tight anti-coronavirus measures imposed by the Norwegian government.

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