KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — American medal hopeful Ted Ligety skied off course in the second of two slalom runs Saturday night, leaving the U.S. Alpine team without a medal in men’s slalom for 30 years.
Ligety, a solid sixth following the afternoon run, pushed on a treacherous back-and-fourth course over the second run, but made two errors that cost him time, then couldn’t collect himself to complete a turn.
Austrian Mario Matt, the leader after the first run, hung on to become, at 34, the oldest slalom gold medalist – a day after American Mikaela Shiffrin, 18, became the youngest slalom champion. Matt, skiing last among the contenders, held a 1.20-second lead over countryman Marcel Hirscher at the start of his run, and won with a time of 1 minute, 41.84 seconds – 0.28 faster than Hirscher.
Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen won bronze, just 0.05 faster than Italy’s Stefano Gross.
Ligety, who doesn’t have a World Cup podium in slalom since 2008, has failed to finish four of six slalom World Cup slalom races this season. Saturday’s race leaves the U.S. Alpine team with five medals here – two golds, one silver and two bronzes, tied for the second-most ever behind the eight-medal performance from 2010 in Vancouver.
Four years after its men failed to take a medal in Vancouver, Austria led the medal table with nine, including three by the men.
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