Croatia’s Zubcic wins men’s World Cup giant slalom in Japan

              Ted Ligety of the United States competes in the men's giant slalom during the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup at Naeba Ski Resort in Yuzawa, Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Christopher Jue)


Filip Zubcic of Croatia won a men’s World Cup giant slalom race in Japan on Saturday after coming from 12th place after the first run.

Zubcic had a strong second run for a combined time of 2 minutes, 37.25 seconds to finish 0.74 seconds ahead of Switzerland“s Marco Odermatt. Tommy Ford of the United States was third, 1.07 seconds off the pace.

“I was always hoping to win a World Cup race and I knew it could come this season as I have been skiing really fast lately.,” Zubcic said. “This victory is for my family and my team, who have been supporting me for the last 21 years.”

It was the second career podium for Ford after winning his home race in Beaver Creek in December.

Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway won the first run, 0.67 seconds ahead of compatriot Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen.

Nestvold-Haugen and Kristoffersen finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Ted Ligety of the United States finished 11th.

Zan Kranjec of Slovenia, who leads the overall giant slalom standings, was ninth.

Last week’s men’s downhill in China was cancelled over fears of the coronavirus. The event had been scheduled for Feb. 15 in Yanqing to start a two-race weekend.