Feb 15, 2013, 8:43 AM EDT
Ted Ligety added to an incredible, if not surprising, Alpine Ski World Championships Friday in Schladming, Austria by taking gold in the one race he was actually expected to win: the giant slalom.
He becomes the first man since Jean-Claude Killy of France in 1968 to win three world titles in one year.
“I wasn’t easy. I took some risks but it was very difficult,” Ligety said after the race. “It was pretty dark and bumpy. I had several mistakes but I could afford them being 1.30 ahead.”
Ligety held that 1.30-second lead after clocking a blazing 1:13.14 in his first run, then rode a slightly more conservative 1:15.78 his second time down the hill to earn the victory. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher took silver.
“Ted is the man,” downhill world champ Askel Lund Svindal said in between runs. “He’s the best in the world… It’s not possible to beat Ted, I think.”
Ligety, 28, surprised everyone last week by winning the super-G and combined world titles despite having exactly zero victories in either discipline since 2006. The super-G win was the first of his career.
The giant slalom specialist, known as “Ted the Shred,” is only the fifth man to win three golds at a single world championship. He can match Killy’s feat of four world titles when he rides in the slalom on Sunday.
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