Skiing: Kjus chases famous five

LASSE KJUS, the Norwegian who has been an irresistible force on the skiing circuit this winter, goes for his fifth medal from five starts when he races in the slalom in the World Championships in Vail, Colorado, today.

The bearded, balding Norwegian has won two gold and two silver medals here, taking his second gold in Friday's giant slalom with a barnstorming run to see off the challenge of the unknown Marco Buechel of Lichtenstein, who had threatened to produce the surprise of the championships so far when he established a sizeable lead on the first leg. In a thrilling climax, Kjus just edged ahead by a mere 0.05sec.

In capturing his fourth medal, Kjus matched the record of the great Swiss champion Pirmin Zurbriggen in 1987. Like Zurbriggen in Crans- Montana, Kjus won the giant slalom and super-G and finished second in the downhill and combined.

Kjus, the 1996 World Cup overall champion who also leads this season's overall standings, trailed Buechel by 0.25sec and had to work hard to make up the deficit. Buechel was faster than early in his second heat, but lost fractions of seconds in the middle and bottom sections. He still produced the second-fastest second-leg run, but lost out by an agonising margin to a delighted Kjus. "This is amazing, unbelievable," he said. "This is my greatest victory ever, I think. I enjoy giant slalom the most. That's where I think the competition is the hardest."

Buechel said he was nervous between runs "but I didn't freak out. This was brand new for me. I had never been in the top three after the first run. I knew the other guys were really fast."

The pre-race favourite, Switzerland's Michael Von Gruenigen, the leader of the World Cup giant slalom standings and the defending world champion, blew his chance in the first leg, in which he finished only ninth. And it was a rare poor day for the Austrians, who have dominated here. Christian Mayer was Austria's top finisher, in eighth place.

Despite being shut out, Austria retained their lead in the medals table, with 12. Norway have seven.

Hermann Maier, of Austria, Kjus' greatest rival in the battle for domination of the sport, was seeking his third gold medal in these championships in the giant slalom, but he was one of three medal contenders who failed to finish the second run.

He and Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt both lost edges on Pepi's Face, the final steep slope before the finish. The Austrian rookie Benjamin Raich lost an edge and missed a gate early in the run.

Stephan Eberharter of Austria, another favourite, went skiing into soft snow and skidded wide of a gate, failing to finish the first run.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
books
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Sport
sport
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine