COURCHEVEL, France (AP) — Greek racer AJ Ginnis finished runner-up to gold medalist Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway in the men’s slalom at the Alpine skiing world championships Sunday to earn his country its first medal at a worlds in any Olympic sport on snow or ice.
Ginnis was second after the opening run and held on to his position as he finished 0.20 behind Kristoffersen in the final race of the worlds.
Alex Vinatzer was 0.38 behind to take the bronze and earn the Italian men their first medal at these worlds.
“It’s just a dream, the last two weeks. History for Greece, best moment in my career,” Ginnis said. “I can’t believe it. I don’t know what happened. During the run I thought it was not enough and I just gave everything in the last gates.”
Ginnis already became the first skier from Greece on a World Cup podium when he finished second in the last slalom before the worlds.
Kristoffersen posted the fastest-second run time as he improved from 16th position.
“I didn’t believe it was enough. It was a clean run from the middle part, up there I thought it was too many mistakes and not fast enough,” the Norwegian said.
It’s Kristoffersen’s second world title after winning gold in the GS four years ago.
“I have won 23 World Cup (slalom) races, I was about 50 times on the podium, but this is my first gold medal. Maybe it’s the right time.”
First-run leader Manuel Feller of Austria dropped to seventh.
Feller was chasing his country’s first gold medal of the championships, two years before Saalbach-Hinterglemm will host the next worlds.
Austria led the medal table with five golds two years ago and had won at least one event at every worlds since 1987.
Lucas Braathen shared second position with Ginnis after the opening run but dropped to seventh, sharing that position with Feller.
Braathen, who leads the season-long World Cup standings in the slalom, competed less than three weeks after he underwent surgery for appendicitis.
It was Braathen’s first world championships race after he missed the previous worlds in 2021 following knee surgery.
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