Guay wins su­per-G world ti­tle

Canada out­du­els favoured Nor­way

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GRA­HAM DUN­BAR

Erik Guay led the vet­eran Cana­di­ans over the favoured Nor­we­gians in the su­per-G on Wed­nes­day and be­came the old­est gold medal­list at the world ski cham­pi­onships.

The 35-year-old Guay beat Olympic su­per-G cham­pion Kjetil Jan­srud by 0.45 sec­onds — his first vic­tory in al­most three years.

Guay tri­umphed less than two weeks af­ter a spec­tac­u­lar crash, when he flew 60 me­tres in the air off a jump in a treach­er­ous World Cup down­hill.

“It’s in­cred­i­ble. I’m as happy as can be,” said Guay, putting his win down to “for­get­ting about ev­ery­thing and hav­ing a fun race.”

It was a ban­ner day for Canada af­ter Nor­way seemed sure to also take bronze in an event it dom­i­nates. But late-start­ing Manny Os­borne-Par­adis edged World Cup cham­pion Alek­sander Aamodt Kilde off the podium.

On his 33rd birth­day, Os­bornePar­adis claimed his first ca­reer cham­pi­onship medal, trail­ing Guay by 0.51. He was ser­e­naded by a fin­ish-area crowd, and later was hugged by his mother.

Guay, from Mont-Trem­blant, Que., added su­per-G gold to his down­hill ti­tle from the 2011 worlds in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It was at the same Ger­man course last month that he wiped out in a twist­ing fall.

“I was lucky to walk away with fairly mi­nor in­juries,” said Guay, com­pet­ing at his seventh worlds. “I can see (the crash) on TV no prob­lem, but in my head I can’t re­ally re­mem­ber go­ing off the jump and hav­ing that fear.”

There were more jumps to han­dle Wed­nes­day on a hill that launched rac­ers air­borne, test­ing their bal­ance and abil­ity to im­pro­vise through an un­fa­mil­iar gate­set­ting.

Though Nor­way’s men won five of the past seven Olympic ti­tles in su­per-G, the na­tion’s win­less streak at the worlds was ex­tended to nine.

Jan­srud and Kilde were 1-2 in the leader’s box, sep­a­rated by just 0.09 af­ter Kilde’s wild ride down the fi­nal slope, and cel­e­brated by bump­ing fists in the fin­ish area.

At that mo­ment, Guay was about to start wear­ing bib No. 14 and raced down lead­ing Jan­srud at ev­ery time check.

“Erik to­day showed us how it’s sup­posed to be done. I’m not feel­ing any dis­ap­point­ment over that,” said Jan­srud, the youngest of the medal­lists at 31.

Guay took the record for old­est world cham­pion from Hannes Re­ichelt, who set it by win­ning the su­per-G two years ago in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The Aus­trian placed 10th on Wed­nes­day.

Though it has been seven years since Guay won a sea­son-long World Cup ti­tle in su­per-G, his third-place fin­ish in De­cem­ber in Val Gar­dena, Italy, hinted at his po­ten­tial. He also placed third in St. Moritz in a World Cup down­hill last year.

Os­borne-Par­adis, from In­ver­mere, B.C., has not fin­ished on a World Cup down­hill podium in al­most two years, and not since Novem­ber 2009 in su­per-G. He be­gan this sea­son wear­ing bib num­bers in the 50s as a long shot.

Wear­ing No. 26, still out­side the top-ranked group, he was in­spired by his long­time friend.

“I got pretty fired up be­cause of Erik,” said Os­borne-Par­adis, who re­turned to form three months af­ter be­com­ing a fa­ther. “It was more in­tense hav­ing a kid, I can tell you. You can’t un­see those things.”

It was also a sweet re­sult for the Swiss di­rec­tor of Canada’s team, Martin Rufener, the for­mer head coach of his home na­tion’s men.

Switzer­land’s best on Wed­nes­day was eighth-place Carlo Janka, trail­ing Guay by 0.99. Its main pre­race hope, Beat Feuz, was 12th, and now has Jan­srud and the re­vived Cana­di­ans car­ry­ing mo­men­tum into Satur­day’s mar­quee down­hill.

Toronto na­tive Dustin Cook did not fin­ish the run.

ALESSAN­DRO TROVATI, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Canada’s Erik Guay is air­borne on his way to win­ning the men’s su­per-G, at the alpine ski world cham­pi­onships, in St. Moritz, Switzer­land, on Wed­nes­day.

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