The Associated PressARE, Sweden (AP) — Dominik Paris crowned what was already a stellar season by winning the super-G at the world championships on Wednesday.
Despite a few wild turns on the lower section of a technical course, the Italian finished 0.09 seconds ahead of Johan Clarey of France and Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria, who tied for silver.
Paris won the World Cup downhills in Bormio, Italy, and Kitzbuehel, Austria — considered the two toughest races on the circuit — over the last two months.
He’s had six World Cup podium results overall this season.
“It’s really a magical year,” Paris said.
Norwegian great Aksel Lund Svindal, who is retiring after the worlds , shrugged his arms after finishing 16th. A lot was expected from the Norwegian team on a course set by one of its coaches but Kjetil Jansrud, who is recovering from a broken hand, also struggled and placed 22nd.
“It turned out to be a much more difficult race than I expected,” Svindal said. “The body feels good. I’m ready for another week and good for the downhill.”
Paris’ only previous medal at a worlds or Olympics was a silver in the downhill at the 2013 worlds in Schladming, Austria.
“He is the best guy in the world balancing the tactical side with the speed and the risk,” Jansrud said of Paris. “This is a course where you need to have that ability to do that. He does that the best in the world, so it’s a fair and deserved win.”
Paris was an early starter with the No. 3 bib and was shaking his head after crossing the finish. But his time stood up.
“I wasn’t sure if I had done enough,” Paris said. “I went full gas but I had to make some corrections toward the end, where I lost time and speed. Then it was a long wait to see if anyone was better than me.”
Clarey was faster than Paris through the first two checkpoints but couldn’t match the Italian on the twisty lower section.
Olympic super-G champion Matthias Mayer was also faster through the second interval but then flew wide off a jump and missed a gate.
Kriechmayr trailed Paris by nearly a half-second midway down but nearly clawed it all back the rest of the way — drawing applause from Paris in the leader’s spotlight.
Clarey and Kriechmayr each earned their first major championship medals.
Clarey has five World Cup podium results — but no victories — while Kriechmayr has four wins, two of which came when he swept the speed events at last season’s finals in Are.
Kriechmayr also won the famed Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen, Switzerland, last month.
Christof Innerhofer of Italy finished fourth and Adrien Theaux of France came fifth.
The top American was Steven Nyman in eighth.
The race was run in partly cloudy conditions at minus-16 C.