(Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany) Dominik Paris won his first race since sustaining a serious knee injury a year ago, claiming the last men’s downhill in the Alpine Skiing World Cup before the world.
The Italian was down a tenth of a second on Beat Feuz midway through the second heat, but he negotiated the last part of the Kandahar course to perfection to lead the Swiss by 0.37 seconds.
Feuz had won the two previous descents, and dominates the classification of the discipline.
Austrian Matthias Mayer was third at 0.40 seconds, while compatriot Max Franz was just two hundredths of a second off the podium.
Broderick Thompson was Canada’s top skier by virtue of his 32e place, at 3.01 seconds. His compatriots Jeffrey Read, James Crawford, Brodie Seger and Benjamin Thomsen finished 33e, 38e, 39e and 45e, in order.
Paris won silver in downhill at the 2013 Alpine Skiing Worlds, and is the reigning super-G champion.
He had torn ligaments and fractured a bone in his right knee during a fall during a training run in Kitzbühel in January 2020.
His previous best result this season was a third place, recorded two weeks ago upon his return to competition in Kitzbühel.
This was the 19e victory for Paris in his career, and his 15e downhill. Only three skiers have recorded more downhill victories in their 54-year history on the World Cup circuit: Franz Klammer (25), Peter Müller (19) and Stephan Eberharter (18).
The race was interrupted several times following crashes, including the one involving the German Josef Ferstl. Ferstl was briefly helped by track medics, but he got up and was able to reach the finish area.
A super-G was scheduled for Friday, followed by a descent the next day, but the Garmisch organizers opted to reverse the two races to avoid damaging the track before the descent.
Saturday’s super-G will be the last competition before the Worlds in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which start next Monday.