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Winter Olympics: Aksel Lund Svindal wins downhill gold at 35 in Pyeongchang

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Winter Olympics: Svindal wins downhill gold
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal became the oldest Olympic alpine skiing champion as he held off Kjetil Jansrud to win downhill gold at the age of 35.

He finished 0.12 seconds ahead of compatriot Jansrud, with Swiss world champion Beat Feuz taking bronze in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Svindal won super-G gold at Vancouver 2010 but finished fourth when favourite for the downhill at Sochi 2014.

Winter Olympics: Aksel Lund Svindal wins downhill gold at 35 in Pyeongchang
Winter Olympics: Aksel Lund Svindal wins downhill gold at 35 in Pyeongchang

“It feels pretty good. I’m extremely happy,” said Svindal.

“The record is a thing you think about after, but right now it’s just the emotions when you cross the finish line and you see that you’re ahead. That’s bigger than any record.”

Svindal tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a crash in January 2016 and only won his first World Cup downhill race since then in December 2017.

Defending champion Matthias Mayer finished seventh. The Austrian was a surprise winner in Sochi four years ago, clinching gold despite never finishing higher than fifth in a World Cup downhill before.

‘Iron Man’ off to a flyer

Yun Sung-bin
Yun Sung-bin set a track record in the second heat

South Korean slider Yun Sung-bin has become a hit with the home fans after setting a track record in the men’s skeleton heats.

The 23-year-old, who wears a helmet resembling American film superhero Iron Man, is bidding to win his country’s first skeleton medal.

“The way people ride skeleton is similar to the way Iron Man flies,” said Yun. “He’s also my favourite character, and that’s why I wear him on my helmet.”

Akwasi Frimpong
Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong posted the slowest time in the heats

Akwasi Frimpong made history by becoming the first Ghanaian to compete in the skeleton at the Winter Olympics.

The 32-year-old was slowest in a field of 30, but made his mark on the ice with a helmet featuring a rabbit escaping the jaws of a lion.

“When the cage goes up, the rabbit has to run away from the lions otherwise it will get eaten,” Frimpong said before making his Games debut.

Anthony Watson, the first Jamaican to compete in the event, posted the second slowest combined time in the heats.

Also on Thursday

There are eight other gold medal events on Thursday:

Other news lines from day six

  • Four-time defending champions Canada beat the United States 2-1 to stretch their Winter Olympic women’s hockey winning streak to 23 games.

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