Marco Odermatt clinches history-making World Cup giant slalom triumph in Meribel
Marco Odermatt solidified his superiority as overall Alpine Skiing World Cup champion by racking up an ‘unbelievable’ seventh win of the season in Meribel.
The Swiss star, 24, clinched the crown with a second-place Super-G finish in Courchevel on Thursday before climbing one step higher on the podium in his favoured giant slalom event just 48 hours later.
Odermatt toppled Norwegian Lucas Braathen by 0.49s in the French mountains, to ensure he claimed podium finishes in all eight World Cup giant slalom events and become the first man to win five races in a season in the discipline since 2018.
Braathen, 21, beat Loic Meillard – Odermatt’s compatriot – to silver by 0.14s as Austrian ace Stefan Brennsteiner was denied a medal by just over a tenth of a second.
Odermatt, who was also crowned Olympic giant slalom champion in Beijing last month, said: “To have those emotions right up to the finish line and now holding this globe is unbelievable.”
Not since eight-time overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher, 33, triumphed in six giant slalom races four years ago had a man reached five season victories in the event but Odermatt changed that in style with a searing display.
He led by 0.2s after the first run before extending his advantage in the second by stopping the clock in 1:05.44.
The result means Odermatt now leads Aleksander Aamodt Kilde – who finished 12th on Saturday – by well over 400 points in the overall standings and fellow Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen – who did not finish in Meribel – by almost 300 in the giant slalom event.
Odermatt now has one more chance to grab his eighth victory of the campaign when the World Cup field do battle on Meribel’s slalom course for the final race of the season on Sunday.