KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP)Olympic champion Marco Odermatt won a men’s World Cup giant slalom Saturday as the Swiss skier locked up the overall title.
Odermatt built on his first-run lead to beat Alexis Pinturault of France by 0.23 seconds. Norwegian skier Henrik Kristoffersen was 0.37 behind in third.
Odermatt, who is the defending overall champion, secured the title again as the victory increased his lead over runner-up Aleksander Aamodt Kilde in the overall standings to 486 points.
Kilde was sitting out this weekend’s races and the Norwegian speed specialist can mathematically score only 400 points at next week’s World Cup Finals in Andorra.
“It’s another perfect day for me. Very, very warm conditions, it was not easy to stay focused on the start,” Odermatt said. “It wasn’t easy to ski but I’m very happy to win this race.”
Odermatt became the first skier to win the sport’s most prestigious prize in back-to-back seasons since Austrian standout Marcel Hirscher won eight times in a row from 2012-19.
Odermatt can also secure the giant slalom title this weekend. He currently leads Kristoffersen by 140 points. A second race is scheduled for Sunday, followed by the season-ending race next Saturday.
“It’s only done when it’s done. Henrik will for sure try to beat me tomorrow,” Odermatt said.
Odermatt triumphed in four of the seven World Cup giant slaloms this season and won gold in GS at last month’s world championships.
The Swiss skier has already clinched the super-G title.
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