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Austrian brings curtain down on World Championships with historic sixth gold.
Marcel Hirscher brought two weeks of breathtaking skiing to an end at St. Moritz with a virtuoso display to win slalom gold at the 2017 FIS World Championships.
The Austrian led after the first run, then saw his rivals fail to rise to the challenge to take his 2017 haul to two golds and one silver with six world golds in his career.
It leaves him alongside Jean-Claude Killy in the history books and just one behind compatriot Toni Sailer, who won seven golds during the 1950s.
Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen set a decent early time of 47.08 for the field to better in the first run.
New British star Dave Ryding soon eclipsed that by 0.12s to put pressure on the main favourites.
Giant slalom gold medallist Hirscher immediately seized the initiative with a superlative run of 46.43 to put down his marker for the #competition.
He watched on as fellow Austrians Marco Schwarz and Michael Matt both squeezed inside Ryding’s time to set up a second run topped by an Austrian 1-2-3.
Sweden’s Mattias Hargin, Austrian Manuel Feller, Russian Alexander Khoroshilov, Swiss Ramon Zenhaeusern and Germany’s Felix Neureuther rounded out the top 10.
Sadly for France Alexis Pinturault slid out while Italian Manfred Moelgg was way off the pace along with home Swiss hope Daniel Yule.
Combined gold medallist Luca Aerni showed the course was quick in the sun early on in the second run to lift the mood of the largely host crowd.
Neureuther, nursing a bad back, soon jumped to the head of the queue by 0.17s - Feller usurping him by 0.25s with six skiers left to fight it out for their medals.
Hargin slid out and Ryding found the going too tough, leaving three Austrians to target another Austrian for the last medals dished out this championships.
Matt and Schwarz both failed to master the difficult later conditions, leaving Hirscher to cruise down to win by 0.68s from Feller and Neureuther - Germany’s only medal of 2017.
Hirscher said, “It is perfect. The sun is shining and great conditions today. Skiing was pretty good. Austria is stoked with 1-2 on the podium. Thank you to the amazing crowd.
“The young guns (fellow Austrians) are kicking my ass during every training run so I am very thankful for this. It is helping me to improve myself.”
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