Hirscher doubles up with giant slalom gold at Winter Olympics
PyeongChang: Austrian Alpine skiing great Marcel Hirscher won his second gold medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games as he claimed the men's giant slalom title here on Sunday.
Hirscher, who won the combined event on Tuesday, maintained his top place after the first run and posted the winning total of 2 minutes and 18.04 seconds, reports Xinhua news agency.
He became the 10th men's Alpine skier to win multiple gold medals at a single Winter Games, and the first since 2006.
"The first Olympics, they were not so successful. I mean, finishing fourth and fifth, it was OK. The next Olympics, in Sochi, second and fourth place. So a lot of fourth place(s). And now, I think it pays off," he said.
With the 2017 giant slalom world title under his belt, Hirscher has become the third straight reigning world champion to claim the Olympic gold medal in this event, after Carlo Janka of Switzerland in 2010 and Ted Ligety of the United States in 2014.
Following Hirscher's victory, Austrian skiers have won a record five gold medals in giant slalom, surpassing Switzerland.
Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen, who trails Hirscher in second position on the World Cup leaderboards, made a strong comeback from 10th place in the first run, finishing 1.27 seconds behind Hirscher. It was Kristoffersen's second Olympic medal.
Hirscher, World Cup overall winner for six straight times, added: "It was not so easy to be the absolute favourite in this discipline, then sitting up there as the leader from the first run knowing that Henrik ripped it. I had no choice. I knew I have to give 100 per cent and I have to go into this battle."
Frenchman Alexis Pinturault was third, a further 0.04 seconds behind.