Clean off the front seat. We got a new driver. Ted Ligety took his second gold medal of the 2013 World Championships by winning the combined Monday night (Feb 11) with the best skiing of his life. He matched many of the top downhillers in the morning, did a little training and relaxing in the afternoon and then attacked the toughest slalom hill in the world free falling into a stadium packed with 24,000 fans on a hill so icy it reflected the flood lights.
The silver went to Croatia’s magnificent Ivica Kostelic and Romed Baumann created the loudest roar from a throbbing crowd of Austrian faithful with the bronze. Aksel Lund Svindal and Benjamin Raich straddled and skied out trying to milk too much speed out of a course that would not allow it.
“Pretty sweet,” Ligety said to Svindal. “It wasn’t easy hanging with you in downhill.”
Certainly the downhill was what set up his gold medal. Baumann had won the morning leg and Svindal had been second with Cristof Innerhofer, Adrien Theaux and Domink Paris in the next three spots. Ligety had finished sixth, less than a second out, and he was pretty sure he could beat all those ahead of him in the night slalom run. He was more worried about Kostelic and Raich in tenth and 12th.
When Raich went out he turned his attention to Kostelic and the Croate took a measured attack, hitting the course hard at the top and bottom, but making sure of completing his charge on the steepest and iciest pitch.
“When I heard (Kostelic) was only .19 ahead of a downhill skier I knew he must have put the brakes on a little bit,” said Ligety, “So I just tried to ski as smart as I can – I’m not always that smart in slalom – have a solid run and not make too many mistakes.”
He was more than merely solid. Ligety posted the second fastest slalom run of the night putting up an enormous 1.15 of a second margin on Kostelic that he knew none of the remaining downhill skiers could touch.
“Ted killed it,” said Svindal. “I was actually pretty fast, but a straddle is a classic slalom mistake.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a combined podium,” said Ligety. “I’ve always thought I had a chance. With that kind of a downhill run and a buffer on the slalom guys, that was great. I haven’t won a combined since 2006 (Olympic gold).
About the only thing Ligety didn’t do perfectly was completing a Didier Cuche style ski flip in the finish area.
Give the man the keys. He’s earned it.
by Hank McKee
Men’s World Championship combined, Schladming, Austria, Feb. 11, 2013
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
3 Baumann, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
4 Romar, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Viletta, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
6 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Zurbriggen, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
8 Janka, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
10 Mayer, Head/Head/Head
Men’s World Championship combined, Schladming, Austria, Feb. 11, 2013. … It is the sixth event the 42nd World Championships. … the third for men. … It is the 283rd World Championship race. … the 73rd combined and the 37th combined for men.
It is the third World Championship gold medal for Ted Ligety and the second of these championships matching the US record. … His three gold medals have each come in different disciplines (gs 2011, sg and cmb 2013). … He also owns a bronze medal in GS from Val d’Isere (2009). … and an Olympic gold in combined (2006). … He had not placed better than fourth in combined in World Cup. … It is his sixth victory of the season.
It is the third career World Championship medal for Ivica Kostelic, each coming in a different discipline. … He won gold in slalom (2003) and bronze in sg (2011). … He also has three Olympic silver medals, two in combined (2006&2010) and one in slalom (2010). … He has won nine World Cup combineds including Kitzbuehel this season.
It is the first World Championship medal for Romed Baumann and the first of these championships for the Austrian men. … Baumann has placed on nine World Cup podiums, five of them in combined.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle reportedly tore his ACL and MCL in the DH leg. He did not fall.
USA – 3 – (gold, gold, silver)
FRA – 3 – (gold, silver, bronze)
GER – 2 – (gold, bronze)
SLO – 2 – (gold, silver)
ITA – 2 – (silver, silver)
NOR – 2 – (gold, bronze)
AUT – 2 – (bronze, bronze)
CRO – 1 – (silver)
SUI – 1 – (silver)
FIS World Ski Championships
Men’s Super Combined
Feb 11, 2013
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|18||45||491151||DE LA CUESTA Paul||1988||SPA||2:05.10||59.82||3:04.92||48.13|
|22||4||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG||2:10.34||58.22||3:08.56||70.14|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|17||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|20||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|53||30283||FREEMAN CRESPO Ignacio||1992||ARG|
|33||400281||VAN HEEK Marvin||1991||NED|