Jansrud beats Svindal in final of new parallel giant slalom
LA VILLA, Italy (AP) Kjetil Jansrud edged Norwegian teammate Aksel Lund Svindal to win the new head-to-head event of parallel giant slalom which made its debut on the World Cup circuit in Alta Badia on Monday.
Taking advantage of the seemingly faster blue course, Jansrud beat Svindal by 0.22 seconds in the final run of about 20 seconds. In the finish area, the teammates embraced.
Andre Myhrer of Sweden beat Dominik Schwaiger of Germany for third.
Top-seeded Marcel Hirscher was eliminated in the first round by Italy's Riccardo Tonetti after the Austrian skied through a gate on his second run.
Only the first round in the 32-man tennis-like tournament featured two runs. From the Round of 16 on it was direct elimination after only one run.
The made-for-TV event lasted only 75 minutes and featured constant action. The race was held at night under artificial lights and a crowd of about 7,500 spectators showed up.
Svindal moved ahead of Hirscher atop the overall standings and now has a 57-point lead.
Hirscher maintained his lead in the giant slalom ranks.
It was the 11th victory of Jansrud's career.
There were safety concerns about skiers crashing into each other but no such incidents occurred.
Representing the top skiers, Olympic GS champion Ted Ligety had lobbied organizers to erect a short safety net between the two courses but coaches rejected the idea, saying that would only make it more dangerous by possibly catapulting skiers into the air.
Ligety was eliminated in the first round by Cyprien Richard of France.
The nations team event, which features the similar discipline of parallel slalom, will make its Olympic debut at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
After a holiday break, the men's circuit resumes with a downhill in Santa Caterina Valvurva on Dec. 29.
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