Ted Ligety in medal contention after first run of men’s slalom

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In an event that isn’t his best, new Olympic giant slalom champion Ted Ligety is within striking distance of a podium today in the slalom.

Ligety is .86 of a second back of Austrian leader and two-time world champ Mario Matt, but only .11 of a second off of the bronze medal position that’s currently occupied by Stefano Gross of Italy and Matthias Hargin of Sweden.

As NBCOlympics.com’s Nick Zaccardi noted before today’s event, the slalom hasn’t been particularly successful for Ligety over the years in the World Cup circuit:

But as of now, Ligety finds himself ahead of some big hitters after the first run.

Germany’s Felix Neurather, the 2013 world silver medalist in slalom, runs one spot behind in seventh, while Marcel Hirscher, the man that won slalom gold at those aforementioned 2013 worlds, is in ninth.

You can see if Ligety can get some more Sochi hardware later this morning on NBCOlympics.com starting at 11:15 a.m. ET.