February 15, 2018 / 3:34 AM / 4 months ago

Alpine Skiing: Downhill curse continues as Mayer struggles

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - The curse of the men’s downhill at the Winter Olympics remained intact on Thursday as Austrian Matthias Mayer became the latest to fail to retain the most prestigious title in Alpine skiing.

Alpine Skiing – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men’s Downhill – Jeongseon Alpine Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 15, 2018 - Matthias Mayer of Austria competes. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

In 70 years of competition, no man has successfully defended the crown and that will continue after Mayer, a surprise winner in Sochi four years ago, was way off the pace and finished ninth on Thursday.

Mayer, the 11th racer to start, produced a ragged run to post one minute, 41.46 seconds, more than a second behind winner Aksel Lund Svindal who clocked 1:40.25 as the seventh man out.

The 27-year-old, who crashed out of the men’s combined on Tuesday, was unhappy with his performance.

“It bothers me because it really worked well in training. I cannot be satisfied with that. I was never 1.2 seconds behind in the entire season,” Mayer told Austrian TV station ORF.

“Especially in the middle part of the course I lost too much time, but it seems that that was the case for a lot of us,” he added.

Reporting by Mitch Phillips, Editing by Ed Osmond

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