Marco Odermatt is the New Downhill World Champion
Updated: Feb 13
Marco Odermatt achieves today in Courchevel his first Downhill victory to claim the World Champion Crown at the 47th Alpine World Ski Championships thanks to a near-perfect run especially on the technical sections of L'Eclipse racecourse. Odermatt, who has already won a total of 19 World Cup races in Super-G and Giant Slalom has never been on top of the podium in the Downhill. Until today the 25-year-old Swiss skier had recorded seven Downhill second places in the World Cup, but had never won one.
It's Odermatt first medal at a senior World Championships. In 2018, the 25-year-old Swiss won five gold medals at the Junior World Championships: Giant Slalom, Super-G, Downhill, Alpine combined, and Team Event.
For Switzerland it is the 14th World Championship gold in the Downhill. Odermatt is our 12th Swiss crowned as Speed King at an Alpine World Ski Championships.
“It wasn't the easiest of days again, a bit like the Olympics. Fourth place three days ago in the Super-G makes today's victory even nicer. It was definitely something I've never felt before. When Alex started, I trembled like never before. Big thanks and congratulations to my service man, he did a great job", Odermatt said.
Main favorite Aleksander Aadmot Kilde finished in second place 0.48 seconds behind the Swiss. It's his second medal in Courchevel-Méribel 2023.On Wednesday, Kilde claimed his first medal at a World Championship when he finished second in the Super-G event.
“I tried my best, but being one of the favourites, you have a lot of pressure. Also, I knew that Odermatt had delivered something really, really good. So I tried to charge as hard as I could. But it’s still quite incredible, and the way I feel now is super. For sure Marco and I will battle for the rest of the season and I will keep trying to beat him. He is a hard nut to crack. In Downhill, I’ve been in front of him until today, but that is all a part of it", Kilde said.
Canadian sensation Cameron Alexander rounded out today's podium in third position 0.89 seconds behind Odermatt.
Last season the first of two Downhill races held in Kvitfjell brought two new winner faces in the World Cup. Swiss Niels Hintermann and Cameron Alexander, surprisingly shared their first Downhill victory in the World Cup. It was Alexander only podium in the World Cup. His best result this season was a sixth place in Kitzbühel.
“I’m so happy with the approach I brought today. I made a couple of mistakes, but that happens sometimes. I was just trying to push the whole way, to not think and just go. When you bring that approach, it is fast. You can make mistakes but that’s ski racing. I was hanging on a bit, but if you feel like that, you know you are going fast. I was yelling at myself, ‘hold on to this’", Alexander said.
Defending champion Vincent Kriechmayr who opened the group of favorites in sixth place, did not find the rigth line. At the end, the 31-year-old had to settle for eleventh place (+1.16). The best of the Austrian team was Marco Schwarz who finished in fourth place and just missed bronze by 0.04 seconds. For the first time since 2013, the Austrians ended up outside the medal in the Men's Downhill and Super-G.