Aksel Lund Svindal made a triumphant return to the hill where a downhill crash almost ended his career two years ago.
In the opening event of the 78th Hahnenkamm races Womens Henrik Zetterberg Jersey , the 2010 Olympic super-G champion led a Norwegian 1-2 finish ahead of Kjetil Jansrud on Friday in the last World Cup race in the discipline before the Pyeongchang Games.
It was Svindal’s 16th career super-G victory but first since winning in Kitzbuehel in 2016, a day before he badly injured his right knee. He was thrown off the course, landed in the safety netting on the Streif and underwent surgery for a ruptured ACL and damaged meniscus. Months later, he said the injury had nearly forced him into retirement.
On Friday, Svindal dominated the super-G, which was delayed and moved to a different course higher up the hill because overnight snow and rain affected the lower part of the original course. The move meant the race included even more sections of the downhill course than usual.
Thousands of spectators followed the race on large video screens because the finish was out of sight.
”This is definitely something special. It was a special race with the finish high up on the hill,” said Svindal, who beat Jansrud by 0.50 seconds. ”Everyone was a bit nervous as we were not sure what to expect.”
Austrian teammates Matthias Mayer and Hannes Reichelt were third and fourth, 0.56 and 0.57 behind, respectively.
Josef Ferstl of Germany, who won the previous super-G in Val Gardena, Italy, last month, was 1.71 behind in 18th.
It was Svindal’s 35th career win, and 30th in a speed event, trailing only Austrian standout Hermann Maier’s total of 39 downhill and super-G wins.
Svindal Gabriel Landeskog Jersey Kids , who will aim for his first downhill win in Kitzbuehel in Saturday’s race, finished in the top 10 of all three previous super-G races this season but had not reached the podium.
Still hampered by knee problems, Svindal believed his reduced training schedule affected his super-G form.
”In downhill you have training runs which give you more confidence,” he said. ”The downhill tomorrow will be very exciting but the weekend couldn’t have started better.”
Winning the last super-G before the Olympics does not make Svindal an obvious favorite for the Feb. 15 race in Jeongseon, South Korea. Only once did the winner of the last World Cup race also take the Olympic super-G title – in 1998 when Maier achieved the feat.
The result closed the gap in the super-G standings between Svindal and leader Jansrud to 46 points, with Vincent Kriechmayr another 14 points back in third place. The Austrian trailed Svindal by 1.29 seconds in 10th place on Friday.
Jansrud called the race ”a difficult super-G for all.”
”No one had experience on this course,” the 2014 Olympic super-G champion said. ”Aksel and I raced really well. Two moose on the podium, that makes us happy.”
After days of snow and rain, the weather was expected to improve for Saturday’s downhill.
Chris Davis doesn’t blame the fans at Camden Yards for showering him with boos, especially when he’s walking back to the dugout after another strikeout.
The Orioles slugger is enduring a nightmare season. Although his power numbers have improved slightly since a recently mandated layoff, Davis is batting .156 with seven homers, 24 RBIs and 99 strikeouts at the midpoint of the season.
Not exactly what the Orioles were expecting when they signed the left-handed hitting first baseman to a guaranteed seven-year, $161 million contract in January 2016.
At the time of the deal, Davis averaged 42 home runs and 109 RBIs over the previous three seasons and was coming off a year in which he hit .262 with 47 homers and 117 RBIs.
Since then, his production has dipped annually. His 2017 numbers – .215, 26 and 61 – were downright prolific compared to this year.
Thus Jakob Silfverberg Jersey , the jeers from the home fans, who have grown weary of watching the struggles of the highest-paid player on the worst team in the big leagues.
”I understand their frustration,” Davis said. ”I know exactly what I’m capable of and what I’ve done in the past. I know that the standard is high and I haven’t been playing that well. But I have to move forward and continue to try to find a way to still have an impact on this season.”
It’s probably too late for his bat to make a difference. His most significant influence on the team, unfortunately, is that his sizable contract makes it that much more difficult for Baltimore to pay big bucks to several of its pending free agents, most notably Manny Machado.
The Orioles and Davis appear destined to be together through the 2022 season, so both sides must make the best of it. That’s why Davis was given an eight-game hiatus in June to get his swing down and his head right. Up to that point, he had tried just about everything else.
”For me, it was exhausting,” Davis said. ”My solution to a lot of my problems in baseball has always been to work. I felt as long as I was working, as long as I was trying, that I would figure it out. This is the first time in my career when I was kind of at a point where I didn’t know what else to do.”
So he went to the sideline, working with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson, a left-handed batter who hit 50 homers for the Orioles in 1996.
Upon his return, on June 26 in Atlanta, Davis homered and drove in two runs. Over the past 10 games Authentic Saquon Barkley Jersey , he’s hitting .158 with two doubles, two homers, nine RBIs and 13 strikeouts.
”His run production is a lot better, his at-bats have been better,” manager Buck Showalter insisted. ”They may say comparatively speaking, but if Chris continues at this rate, if you put it over 160 games it’s pretty good.”
Davis has tried just about everything else in an effort to get back into the groove, with the breakaway from the game coming as a last resort.
”I appreciate them giving me the chance to step back, gather myself and regroup,” he said.
Showalter and the organization can only hope for positive, lasting results.
”Chris has been a good friend of mine,” the manager said. ”He’s got a lot of support from the coaches and his teammates.”