NEW CHAMP: Matthias Mayer.
NEW CHAMP: Matthias Mayer. Getty Images

Austrian shocks his rivals at Sochi

UNHERALDED Austrian Matthias Mayer upset his idols to take home gold in the blue riband event at the Winter Olympics yesterday - the men's downhill.

Twenty six years after his father Helmut won silver at the 1988 Games in Calgary in the giant slalom, Mayer claimed gold ahead of pre-race favourites American Bode Miller and world downhill champion Aksel Lund Svindal, from Norway, who finished eighth and fourth, respectively.

Mayer overcame a poor upper section to storm to gold. He clocked 2min 06.23sec down the 3.5km-long course to claim the first Austrian downhill gold since Fritz Stroebl in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

The 23-year-old had never won a major international downhill event but held on yesterday after earlier this week naming both Svindal and the 36-year-old Miller as his "idols and role models".

Mayer beat off the challenge of Italian Christof Innerhofer, who took silver at just six-hundredths behind, with Norway's Kjetil Jansrud a further 0.04 second adrift, taking bronze.

For Svindal and Miller, who each claimed a gold, silver and bronze at the Vancouver Games in 2010, there was disappointment.

 

1. Norway

10
4
7
2. United States
8
6
11
3. Germany
8
7
7
4. Russia
7
9
7
5. Canada
7
9
4
6. Netherlands
6
7
9
7. Switzerland
6
3
2
8. Belarus
5
0
1
9. France
4
4
7
10. Poland
4
0
0
22. Australia
0
2
1

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