Svindal maintains sparkling comeback with bronze

VAL D’ISERE, France (Reuters) - Aksel Lund Svindal kept up his spectacular comeback by taking the super-G bronze medal at the world championships on Wednesday.

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway casts a shadow on his way to win the bronze medal during the men's Super G race at the Alpine Skiing World Championships in the French resort of Val d'Isere February 4, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Seriously injured in a downhill crash at Beaver Creek in December 2007, the Norwegian stunned the skiing world by winning a downhill and a super-G on the same piste a year after his accident.

In spite of inconsistent results since, all-rounder Svindal was one of the few who solved the problems posed by the testing Bellevarde course on Wednesday.

“When I resumed skiing this season I knew I was maybe not as fast or strong as two years ago but competitive,” the overall 2007 World Cup champion told reporters.

“But I never had the world championships in my focus. I just wanted to be fast again.”

Third behind Swiss winner Didier Cuche and Italian Peter Fill, Svindal was fast enough to add a fourth medal to his world championship collection after silver in the combined in 2005 and gold in the giant slalom and downhill two years ago.


Podium finishes in Val d’Isere are a Norwegian tradition, especially on the controversial Bellevarde piste where Kjetil-Andre Aamodt won the super-G and Finn-Christian Jagge the slalom in the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics.

“I don’t remember Kjetil’s super-G gold ... I was only 10,” said Svindal. “But I certainly remember his gold in 2006 in Turin.”

The 26-year-old limited the damage on Wednesday’s icy course but not as much as Cuche.

“Lots of us did not find the right mix, especially on the last part where I think probably Cuche was the only one to find the right mix,” said Svindal.

“He’s the right winner today.”