Asa Miller records DNF in giant slalom; Marco Odermatt leads | Inquirer Sports

Asa Miller records DNF in giant slalom; Marco Odermatt leads

/ 02:20 PM February 13, 2022

Philippines' Asa Miller competes in the Men's Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018.

FILE – The Philippines’ Asa Miller competes in the Men’s Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI

YANQING, China – Favorite Marco Odermatt of Switzerland had a lead of four hundredths of a second over Austria’s Stefan Brennsteiner after the first run of the men’s giant slalom in driving snow on Sunday.

In tough conditions, overall World Cup and giant slalom leader Odermatt recovered from an error in the upper section to cross the line in 1:02.93.

France’s Mathieu Faivre was also within striking distance, finishing just 0.08 behind the Swiss all-rounder, with Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen and another Frenchman, Thibaut Favrot, also in contention.

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With organizers seeking the best conditions possible, the start of the second run was delayed by 45 minutes and will now begin at 1500 local time (0700 GMT).

Odermatt said his early mistake could have cost him.

“I’m glad I’m still here,” he said. “I had a very tricky situation up top. I also felt like I lost a lot there.

“So, I risked a lot in the lower section.”

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The Swiss said the weather was an added complication.

“It’s very hard up there and you can’t see anything. The overall package makes it really difficult today,” he said.

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Frenchman Faivre said visibility was poor.

“You can’t see much, you don’t know where to put your feet,” he added. “But luckily the surface is quite icy, quite regular from start to finish, so I succeeded in producing a pretty good first run.”

Of the 89 skiers on the start list, 33 failed to finish the first run including Filipino-American Asa Miller. While some of the skiers from non-traditional ski countries struggled, the top contenders came through.

Miller, the Philippines’ lone bet in the Games, registered a DNF after an early slip.

“Went out charging, sadly no Run 2 for me today,” Miller wrote on social media Sunday.

It was a disappointing end to Miller’s campaign in the event, where he was aiming to improve on his 70th place finish four years ago in Pyeongchang.

The 21-year-old Miller gets to redeem himself three days from now in men’s slalom.

While visibility was poor, the early skiers agreed with the decision to go ahead with the race in the snow.

“Definitely, the light is more than skiable, it just makes it difficult. I like it,” said Kristoffersen, who was first out of the start hut.

“The snow is a little uneven so it is quite aggressive in spots…a little slick … I think it was difficult for everyone.”

One of those to ski out, Switzerland’s Loic Meillard, said it was difficult to pick out the blue lines outlining the course.

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“We’ve raced in conditions like that, so it’s not the first time. But of course maybe it is missing a bit some blue lines, some help to know where we go and to avoid any stupid injuries,” he said.

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