Marco Odermatt Crowned Giant Slalom World Champion
After winning the Men's Downhill world title last Sunday, February 12, Marco Odermatt claims today gold in the Giant Slalom. He leads a 1-2 podium for Switzerland with teammate Loic Meillard in second place.
Marco Schwarz rounded out the podium in third position 0.40 seconds behind Odermatt. It's the seven time Switzerland win the Men's Giant Slalom World title.
"Of course that's perfect. The feeling before the race was so-so. I was relaxed, but I didn't know if the power would be enough for two more rides like this. It was a brutally difficult race. Marco Schwarz really challenged me, unfortunately he made a few mistakes, that cost him the gold medal", said Odermatt.
Odermatt is the fifth man to win the Downhill and the Giant Slalom at the same world championships, after Toni Sailer (Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956, and Bad Gastein 1958), Zeno Colò (Aspen 1950), Jean-Claude Killy (Grenoble 1968) and Aksel Lunde Svindal (Åre 2007).
Odermatt is the first Swiss skier since Pirmin Zurbriggen in 1987 to win two gold medals at a World Championship.
Until today the last Swiss man to claim a world championships medal in the Giant Slalom was Carlo Janka, when he won in Val d'Isère 2009.
The last Swiss Men's 1-2 podium in the Giant Slalom at a World Ski Championships was in Innsbruck 1976, when the Olympic Games also counted as world championships. with Heini Hemmi and Ernst Good taking the first two places on the podium.
The Giant Slalom Olympic Champion in Beijing 2022 won four of the six men's World Cup Giant Slalom races this season. He reached the podium in each of the last 12 men's World Cup Giant Slalom events he participated in.
Loic Meillard made up two positions in the second run after setting the best time.
"I didn't do it tactically. I knew that everything didn't go right in the first run, so I knew I had to give everything and not look back. I thought to myself, what's coming, that's coming. If others are faster, they deserve it. I can be satisfied with my performance", Meillard said.
Today's silver medal is Meillard first medal in the Giant Slalom in a World Championship. In Cortina 2021 the 26-year-old all-rounder skier won two bronze medals, in the Alpine Combined and the Parallel.
Marco Schwarz finsihed in third position, the same as in Cortina 2021, after setting the best time in the first run. With two mistakes, he lost the gold medal in the second part of the run.
"It was a bit dark and a bit bumpy, so my center of gravity fell back a bit and I didn't have the same pace anymore. You can't afford to make mistakes at this level. I'm fine, of course it would have been nice if the medal had been a different metal. But I am satisfied with the bronze medal", said Schwarz.
It's his second medal in Courchevel-Méribel 2023. He won silver in the Alpine Combined. The Austrian has won six individual medals at the World Championships plus one in the Team event.
The 27-year-old secured the 7th World Championship medal in Courchevel-Méribel 2023 for Austria.