PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Andre Myhrer of Sweden has won the Olympic men’s slalom, taking advantage of big favorites Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen failing to finish the race. Myhrer watched as first-run leader Kristoffersen skied out early in the second run Thursday.
The 35-year-old Myhrer finished 0.34 seconds ahead of Switzerland’s Ramon Zenhaeusern, who took an unexpected silver medal. Bronze medalist Michael Matt of Austria was 0.67 behind Myhrer’s two-run time of 1 minute, 38.99 seconds. Matt’s brother Mario won gold four years ago.
Myhrer added gold to his bronze medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic slalom. He is the second 35-year-old man to take Alpine gold here after Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the downhill. Hirscher went out midway through the first run seeking a third gold medal at these Olympics.
In an Olympic stunner, Hirscher’s quest for a third gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games ended quickly on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Austrian star was the big favorite in slalom, his specialty, but he skied out early in the opening run.
Hirscher looked uneasy on a course where the gates were set by an Austrian team coach. He already lost speed at one combination of gates and trailed by more than a half-second at the midway time split before going off the course.
“I had already really a bad feeling about the whole situation,” Hirscher said, acknowledging he had some “really bad training days here.”
Still, he smiled for the television cameras as he dressed in the finish area before talking to reporters.
“Hopefully there are still tickets available for a plane right now,” Hirscher said, describing his Olympics as “amazing and really perfect.”
Hirscher already won the giant slalom and Alpine combined titles, and a slalom duel with Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway was one of the most anticipated events on the Olympic Alpine program.
Hirscher was seeking to become just the fourth Alpine skier to win three golds at a single Winter Games, and the first man since Jean-Claude Killy 50 years ago.