PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - World champion Beat Feuz’s hopes of Olympic gold were dashed with a slight slip midway through the men’s downhill on Thursday but the stocky Swiss hailed his bronze medal as another highlight of a “fantastic” season.
The stocky Feuz had grabbed the 2017 world downhill title at St Moritz earlier this season and came into his second Games with wins at Garmisch, Wengen and Lake Louise.
“I’m feeling great, my first Olympic medal at a Winter Games is something really special,” he told reporters after he finished behind Norwegian duo Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud.
“It’s always good to get a medal for Switzerland, of course I hope there will be more, but it’s very nice at the moment.
“It’s been a fantastic season for me. Everything went well, so just fantastic.”
The fifth skier out, Feuz had promised a “full-on attack” of the relatively benign 2.85km piste at the Jeongseon Alpine Center and he duly topped the timesheets with his one minute 40.43 seconds run.
But his execution was far from perfect, the 21-year-old said a touch ruefully.
“We didn’t train on this slope for four days so it was very difficult with the conditions,” he said.
“I slipped once on the middle part with my inside ski so that was tough.
“It was in the middle section after the second big jump on the left turn ... and I got pushed to the side and this is where Axel got his three or four tenths of a second.”
It was still a competition worthy of an Olympics, the Swiss said, and he could only be philosophical about being beaten by Norwegian great Svindal and Jansrud, the bronze winner at Sochi.
“To lose against these two Norwegians, there are worse things to happen to me,” he said.
“They have been on top for years and years.
“Axel has been hurt several times and we know that on a run like this he is always extremely dangerous, so the two Norwegians are top of my list of competitors.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury