Matt holds on to his lead and wins slalom gold

22 February 2014 15:02
Matt crushing the Sochi slalom
Matt crushing the Sochi slalom -
Agence Zoom

KRASNAYA POLYANA - Mario MATT (AUT) became the oldest Olympic alpine skiing champion by winning a dramatic men's slalom on Saturday night at Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre.

The 34-year-old 2001 slalom world champion finished ahead of 2013 world champion and pre-race favourite Marcel HIRSCHER (AUT) in an Austrian one-two, with Henrik KRISTOFFERSEN (NOR) third. In a nice piece of symmetry, the 19-year-old Norwegian became the youngest ever Olympic alpine skiing medal winner.

MATT, who had a 0.45 second advantage on the field after the first run, watched five of his seven closest finishers fail to finish the course, includingAlexis PINTURAULT (FRA), Felix NEURUETHER (GER) and Ted LIGETY (USA).

By the time MATT reached the start gates he had a 1.28 second buffer on HIRSCHER, the winner of two world cup slalom races this season. The elder statesman of the Austrian team used all of his experience to stay on his skis and finish in a combined time of 1 minute and 41.84 seconds, 0.28 seconds ahead of HIRSCHER.

MATT, who is 34 years and 319 days old, overtook Kjetil Andre AAMODT's (NOR) record of 34 years and 169 days when he won the men's super G at the 2006 Games.

At 19 years and 235 days old, KRISTOFFERSEN claimed the youngest medal winner mantle from Alfred MATT (AUT), who was 19 years old and 282 days when he took bronze in the men's slalom in the 1968 Games.