Marco Schwarz pulls off stunning combined win at Alpine skiing worlds

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Austrian Marco Schwarz stunned French favorite Alexis Pinturault to win the super combined by four hundredths of a second at the world Alpine skiing championships on Monday.

Schwarz, the world’s top slalom skier, put himself within striking distance of Pinturault, the defending combined champion, by finishing .32 behind the Frenchman in the morning super-G run.

Schwarz then posted the fastest slalom run of the top skiers to overtake Pinturault, who is likely to win his first World Cup overall title this season.

Swiss Loic Meillard took bronze, 1.12 seconds behind Schwarz in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Canadian James Crawford, who had the fastest super-G, dropped to fourth after the slalom. Bryce Bennett, the only American to compete in both runs, finished outside of the top 10.

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Austria won all three men’s events at worlds so far after Vincent Kriechmayr swept the downhill and super-G, its most individual men’s titles since 2005.

Schwarz, the 2019 World bronze medalist in the combined, has succeeded the retired Marcel Hirscher as Austria’s premier slalom skier. He became the first Austrian man to win a world title in a giant slalom, slalom or combined since Manfred Pranger in the 2009 slalom.

At 25, he leads the this season’s World Cup slalom standings with two victories and seven podiums.

Pinturault, in addition to the 2019 World title, won nine of the last 15 World Cup combined races dating to 2014. Pinturault took silver at the 2018 Olympics behind Hirscher, who retired after the 2018-19 season.

The world championships continue Tuesday with parallel giant slaloms, followed by the team event on Wednesday.

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