Svindal scorches to Val Gardena super-G win

Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal celebrates his Alpine Skiing World Cup Men's Super G win with second placed Italy's Christof Innerhofer and third placed Norway's Kjetil Jansrud at Val Gardena, Italy, on Friday. — Reuters

VAL GARDENA, Italy — Norwegian veteran Aksel Lund Svindal scorched to victory in Friday's World Cup super-G in Val Gardena on a great day's ski racing for the "Attacking Vikings".

The 35-year-old, a two-time overall World Cup champion (2007, 2009) and Olympic gold medalist in the super-G (2010) and downhill (2018), clocked 1min 28.65sec, starting with bib No. 13.

It was Svindal's 36th victory on the circuit and 17th in the super-G. It was also his seventh victory (five super-G, two downhills) on the Saslong course nestled high in the southern Tyrol Dolomites of Northern Italy.

"One happy crew in Italy!! Feels great with the first win of the season," Svindal posted on Instagram.

Italian Christof Innerhofer, 33, was edged into second by 0.05sec as racers topped speeds of 115kph (71mph) in clear conditions in temperatures of -9 degrees Centigrade (16F).

Svindal's teammate and 2014 Sochi Olympic super-G gold medallist Kjetil Jansrud rounded out the podium, at 0.27sec.

The surprise of the day came in the shape of France's Johan Clarey, the 37-year-old claiming an astonishing fourth place after having started in 50th position.

That pushed another Norwegian, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, into fifth. A fourth Norwegian, the lesser-known Adrian Smiseth Sejersted, finished a career-best eighth in a morale booster for Norway's self-proclaimed "Attacking Vikings" team heading into February's world championships in Are, Sweden.

Germany's Josef Ferstl and Austria's reigning Olympic super-G champion Matthias Mayer took sixth and seventh respectively. Saturday sees racers tackling the classic Val Gardena downhill, with the start scheduled for 1045 GMT. — AFP