The Men’s combined saw a dramatic change in the leaderboard between the first downhill event and final slalom run. The downhill was once again affected by poor visibility. Heavy snow and high-speed winds meant the start line had to be moved down the slope to the reserve position.
The downhill finished with Dominik Paris on top, the Italian was once again in fine form and led America’s Ryan Cochran-Siegle by three hundredths. Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde came home in third position. Austrian hopeful Vincent Kriechmayr was joint fourth with Italy’s Christof Innerhoffer.
But the evening’s slalom proved to turn the table completely upside down, with not one athlete from the top twenty finishing on the final podium! The slalom specialists were resurgent, boosted by the close finishing times in the downhill due to the shortened distance and tricky conditions.
Stefan Hadalin of Slovenia sent an early warning to the downhill specialists that the event wasn’t going to go as they had hoped. Hadalin was 30th after the downhill, 1.52 seconds behind Paris, but took the lead with the fastest slalom run of the day.
He remained in the leader’s chair for much of the race with only France’s Alexis Pinturault beating him with a total time just 0.24 seconds faster than Hadalin.
This event marked Hadalin’s first competitive medal. He reflected after the race “It’s unbelievable. I cannot describe how I feel, I am just so happy. I did not think I would win a medal when I was skiing slalom but I said to myself that I would take this chance, and I made it”.
Marco Schwarz completed a clean sweep for slalom specialists crossing the line to secure bronze. Sweden’s Felix Monsen came home in a strong 10th place.
The final positions were as followed:
- PINTURAULT Alexis (FRA) – 1:08.79
- HADALIN Stefan (SLO) – 1:09.1
- SCHWARZ Marco (AUT) – 1:08.52
The World Championships continue on Tuesday with the Alpine Team event at 16:00 CET.