Vincent Kriechmayr wins downhill at world championships by smallest margin in history

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Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr won the downhill by one hundredth of a second to become the first man to sweep the speed races at a world Alpine skiing championships since Bode Miller in 2005.

Kriechmayr edged surprise German Andreas Sander by the slimmest possible margin for his second gold in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

“I didn’t expect it to win after crossing the finish line,” he said.

Kriechmayr, who entered worlds with the most World Cup wins of active male skiers without an Olympic or world title, won the super-G by .07 on Thursday.

Swiss Beat Feuz, the 2017 World champion, took bronze on Sunday, .18 back. Americans Bryce Bennett and Travis Ganong were 10th and 12th.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the U.S.’ top speed racer this season, missed worlds after breaking his neck last month and undergoing season-ending surgery.

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Kriechmayr ended powerhouse Austria’s longest drought in the men’s downhill at worlds since a gap that included World War II. Its last gold medalist was Michael Walchhofer in 2003.

He joined Miller and Austrian legend Hermann Maier as the only men to take gold in both speed races at a worlds (Maier shared super-G in gold in 1999 with Norwegian Lasse Kjus).

“Both of them are legends,” Kriechmayr said. “To be on the same step is very amazing.”

Sander, a 31-year-old with a career-best World Cup finish of fifth, earned Germany’s third silver medal in four races so far at worlds. That nation is having its best showing since 2013, when Maria Hoefl-Riesch was its star.

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Kriechmayr and Sander were the first two racers on a new track named “Vertigo” in Cortina.

The men’s downhill reairs on NBC at noon ET on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on NBCSN.

Worlds continue Monday with the men’s and women’s combined events. Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to race in her second of four events. She took bronze in the super-G last Thursday in her first speed race in more than one year.

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