For the aged: Svindal wins downhill; oldest Alpine winner

'A bit sad' - Svindal not impressed by sparse crowd

He certainly made his last chance count on Thursday, finally getting the only downhill honor missing from an impressive career. "It's just an wonderful story, and I'm unbelievably happy". "It's one of those things where you keep looking up the hill because I want to make sure it's real, like no one comes and skis faster".

Svindal had made a tepid start amid near-perfect conditions but excelled on the bottom half of the course, recording a time that would prove insurmountable.

In a race that often has a surprise victor, the new Olympic champion has been the most consistent downhill racer over the past decade despite a series of severe injuries. Jansrud took downhill bronze four years ago and Feuz is the current world champion.

Svindal, who has won two World Cup downhills and one super-G this season, skated aggressively out of the start gate, reaching 100 km/h in under 10 seconds.

The 35-year-old emerged victorious from a battle of the veterans as he led home a Norwegian one-two by beating team-mate Kjetil Jansrud by 0.12 seconds to win the sport's blue riband event at the Winter Olympics.

Svindal became the first Norwegian to win gold in the men's downhill.

'A bit sad' - Svindal not impressed by sparse crowd
Double victory for downhill racers

Svindal tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a crash in January 2016 and only won his first World Cup downhill race since then in December.

Ahead at four straight time checks, Jansrud's lead steadily dropped from 0.43 and he was twisted sideways in midair before landing one jump.

He fell behind Feuz's second and third intermediate times after going wide on the first jump, but regrouped in the final run-in with a powerful display befitting a racer who won a medal of each colour in the 2010 Vancouver Games before flopping in Sochi. Jansrud threw his head back in anguish when he saw his time.

"This is definitely my last Olympics", Svindal told reporters after his latest achievement that was celebrated with Jansrud as well as his father and Norway's Crown Prince Haakon among the spectators. Racing before the Norwegians, he smiled wryly for the television cameras at the finish and wiggled his right hand as if acknowledging his leading time would not hold up.

Defending champion Matthias Mayer finished seventh.

Svindal's gold didn't break Norway out of third place in the medals race, though, with both Germany and the Netherlands topping the list with eight and five gold medals each.

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