Swiss get what they wanted most

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GRA­HAM DUN­BAR

ST. MORITZ, SWITZER­LAND – Host na­tion Switzer­land got the world cham­pi­onships gold medal it most wanted when Beat Feuz won the down­hill Sunday.

Roger Fed­erer had a front-row seat in the stands to see Feuz fin­ish 0.12 sec­onds faster than Erik Guay of Canada, deny­ing the win­ner of Wed­nes­day’s su­per-G a speed ti­tle dou­ble.

Max Franz of Aus­tria was third, 0.37 be­hind Feuz, who took down­hill bronze two years ago.

Though Feuz’s top speed of 119 kph (74 mph) was slower than many ri­vals, he was best at keep­ing speed through twist­ing turns mid­way down a short­ened course.

A lower start was used be­cause the steep “Free Fall” sec­tion — the sig­na­ture fea­ture of the Corviglia course — was shrouded in fog, and a lower start was used.

Fog forced the race to be post­poned from Satur­day, when Feuz turned 30.

The mar­quee men’s race shaped as an open one when the Olympic cham­pion, world cham­pion, sea­son-long World Cup cham­pion, and the past six World Cup race win­ners were all dif­fer­ent rac­ers.

Still, Feuz was many peo­ple’s favourite on a home course he knows well, where he won the World Cup fi­nals down­hill last March and had been fastest in a train­ing run on Tues­day.

Rac­ing as the No. 13 starter, Feuz broke a tie for the lead af­ter Swiss team­mate Pa­trick Kueng, the de­fend­ing cham­pion, matched Kjetil Jan­srud of Nor­way. Kueng and Jan­srud even posted the same time at each of the first two check points, and even­tu­ally shared fourth place.

“Hats off to Beat, I think he did an in­cred­i­ble job to­day,” said the 35-year-old Guay, who was seek­ing to match Bode Miller’s achieve­ment 12 years ago of win­ning both speed races. “I felt some pres­sure, for sure.”

Feuz joined Swiss team­mate Wendy Hold­ener, win­ner of the women’s com­bined event on Fri­day, as home gold medal­lists from the first five races.

The Swiss men’s team had un­der­achieved this sea­son, and its only win on the World Cup cir­cuit was a fluke suc­cess for Niels Hin­ter­mann in a snow-af­fected com­bined event at Wen­gen. Hin­ter­mann was not se­lected in the five­man Swiss team Sunday.

The Swiss got it right, and the Alpine na­tion’s most fa­mous res­i­dent Fed­erer, sit­ting with his wife Mirka, and Lind­sey Vonn, looked on ap­prov­ingly.

Vonn took bronze two hours ear­lier in the women’s down­hill race, won by Ilka Stuhec of Slove­nia.

Stuhec was faster than any of the men Sunday, clock­ing 125.6 kph (78 mph) on the ad­join­ing course.

ALAIN GROSCLAUDE, AGENCE ZOOM, GETTY IMAGES

Beat Feuz of Switzer­land shows his gold-medal form Sunday in St. Moritz, Switzer­land.

ALEXAN­DRA WEY, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Erik Guay of Canada wins the sil­ver medal in Sunday’s world cham­pi­onship down­hill.

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