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Marco Odermatt rallies to win giant slalom at Alpine skiing worlds

Thanks to a strong second run, defending Olympic champion in the giant slalom Marco Odermatt outlasts Marco Schwarz to win the GS at the Alpine World Championships.

Swiss Marco Odermatt overtook Austrian Marco Schwarz to win the giant slalom at the world Alpine skiing championships, coupling with his downhill title from last week.

Odermatt, who trailed Schwarz by 58 hundredths after the first of two runs, prevailed after Schwarz made last mistakes in his second run. Schwarz’s lead dwindled to 18 hundredths at the last intermediate split with 17 seconds left to ski, but he ended up four tenths behind and in third place.

“The emotions in the downhill were way bigger,” said Odermatt, whose best events are giant slalom and super-G. “That was a surprise for me, for everybody. Now I had a gold medal in my room. That made it easier today.”

Loic Meillard made it a Swiss one-two, finishing 32 hundredths back of Odermatt, the Olympic GS champion with whom he plays cards and tennis.

River Radamus was the top American in 12th.

ALPINE WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Odermatt, 25, became the youngest man to win two individual gold medals at a worlds since Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, who also won the downhill and GS in 2007.

Odermatt won nine of his 13 World Cup GS races since the start of last season and finished on the podium in the other four.

“I actually didn’t expect to win [after the first run],” Odermatt said. “Marco skied so well in the first run. He did some mistakes in the second that helped me for gold.”

Schwarz, a 27-year-old who took combined silver last week, was bidding to extend Austria’s streak of at least one gold medal at every worlds dating to 1989.

“I had a couple of mistakes in my second run that you cannot make on this level,” said Schwarz, whose mistakes came on a course set by the coach of Odermatt’s Swiss team.

Austria has two more chances to avoid a goose egg in the women’s and men’s slaloms the next two days, but it does not have a skier ranked in the top three in the world in that discipline.

Downhiller Vincent Kriechmayr was the lone Austrian man or woman to win a World Cup race so far this season, but he finished 11th and 12th in his two events last week.

Worlds continue Saturday with the women’s slalom, where Mikaela Shiffrin eyes a modern-era record-breaking eighth world championships gold medal across all events, live on Peacock.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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