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Odermatt seals downhill title and fourth globe of season after Saalbach cancelled

Mar 24, 2024·Alpine Skiing
Marco Odermatt (SUI) joins an exclusive club to have won four titles in a season (Agence Zoom)
Marco Odermatt (SUI) joins an exclusive club to have won four titles in a season (Agence Zoom)

Marco Odermatt (SUI) clinched the men’s FIS downhill Crystal Globe on Sunday, after the final race of the season in Saalbach was cancelled due to adverse weather.

It was a strange way to win it – fans had been eagerly anticipating him facing off against Cyprien Sarrazin (FRA), who lay just 42 points behind in the standings – but it will not distract from the huge achievements of the Swiss star.

Odermatt adds the downhill title to the GS, super-G and overall globes – making him the first man to win four globes in a single season since Hermann Maier (AUT) in 2000/01. He’s the first Swiss racer to do it since Pirmin Zurbriggen in 1986/87. Jean-Claude Killy (FRA) has also achieved the feat: Odermatt joins an exclusive club.

The globe represents Odermatt’s first downhill title, and secures the speed double. The race cancellation denied him the chance to beat last season’s record breaking overall points tally, however.

"Something very special"

“For sure it’s very strange to win a globe after such a tight battle with Cyprien,” he said. “We both would have been ready for every decision. We saw it on the inspection. I’m not sure safety can be guaranteed. It’s a good decision for sure from my side, but I think as well for the sport it was a fair decision. But we would have liked to battle it out.”

“It was a strange season with some cancellations but we had a very good January and February, high quality races, very cool medals, and if you are leader going into the final week, you deserve the globe. It was a lot of waiting, but I always felt really good and motivated to race.”

Joining the other three globe-sweeping legends, meanwhile, is “something very special.”

“I spoke to Hermann two years ago in summer, when I won my first globes and he told me it is cool when you can’t hold all the globes. So I think this will be a good feeling."

Sarrazin, who finishes second in the downhill standings, was also accepting of the cancellation, and content with his season. “For safety it was a good decision, so there is no problem,” he said. "I wanted to have a fair race and a safe race and that’s how it is. We will enjoy tonight because it was an amazing season.

“I’m really happy. I’m proud of me. I never stopped believing. It was an amazing journey. For the young guys, if they watch me, they can see you never stop believing.

“Thanks to my team, we did a great season together. They were good team results. Our coaches are proud. I can’t wait to continue the journey.”

Dominik Paris (ITA) finished third in the downhill standings. “I’m sorry for the guys that worked on the mountain, but if the weather is like this, it can’t be a good fair race,” he said.

“For me it was a really good season after last season. I worked really hard. Getting back on the podium. I’m really happy. I can do better, but the other two guys, they were much stronger than me. I will try to work to beat them next season.”