Vincent Kriechmayr wins men's downhill by slimmest of margins at world championships

Vincent Kriechmayr won the men's downhill on Sunday in Cortina d'Amepzzo, Italy, for his second gold medal at the world championships. Top Canadian was Toronto's Jack Crawford, who placed 21st of 34 finishers.

Austrian tops Andreas Sander of Germany by 1-100th of a second in Italy

Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr speeds down the course to a win in the men's downhill, at the alpine skiing world championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, on Sunday. (Gabriele Facciotti/The Associated Press)

Vincent Kriechmayr matched two legends of Alpine skiing at the world championships Sunday by adding downhill gold to the super-G title he won three days ago.

The Austrian became only the third man to complete the so-called speed double at a worlds after Hermann Maier did it in 1999 and Bode Miller in 2005.

"Hermann Maier is an Austrian legend and Bode Miller is a legend, too. To be on the same step is really amazing," Kriechmayr saidf from Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

"I don't compare myself to Hermann or Bode Miller, they were also Olympic and World Cup overall champions," he added. "Of course, it's nice to achieve it as well."

Kriechmayr also won gold in super-G three days ago.

WATCH | Kriechmayr takes gold in downhill at worlds:

Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr takes gold at downhill world ski championships

11 months ago
Duration 2:15
The Austrian just edged out Germany's Andreas Sander by 1-hundredth of a second to take top spot in Cortina, Italy. 2:15
Opening the race on an icy course after a freezing cold night, Kriechmayr had no course report but still judged a tricky middle section of the Vertigine course to perfection.

The passage included six untypically sharp turns for a downhill, but the Austrian carried the perfect speed going through to keep the fastest line.

However, he had to come out of his tuck several times on the flats near the end of his run.

"It was a really special race today with bib No. 1 and it wasn't so easy," said Kriechmayr, who beat Andreas Sander of Germany by 1-100th of a second in one minute 37.79 seconds. "I can't believe it. It was a crazy race."

Crawford top Canadian in 21st

Beat Feuz, the 2017 world champion from Switzerland, ultimately trailed by 0.18 for bronze.

The rest of the field, led by Italian home favourite Dominik Paris and Swiss skier Marco Odermatt who shared fourth position, was at least 0.65 off the lead.

Top Canadian among 34 finishers was Jack Crawford of Toronto in 21st, clocking 1:39.78, 1.99 seconds behind Kriechmayr. Jeff Read of Canmore, Alta., was 26th (1:40.34) and Broderick Thompson of North Vancouver, B.C., 29th (1:41.96).

Brodie Segar, also from North Vancouver, didn't finish Sunday's race after jumping 24 spots to finish fourth in Thursday's super-G. Seger had spent a month recovering from a shoulder injury that kept him off the World Cup tour until last weekend.

Defending world champion Kjetil Jansrud finished just more than a second behind in eighth.

Overall World Cup champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is out for the season with a knee injury.

The turning section that decided the race had been sharply criticized by many racers after the first official training session on Friday.

Organizers reset those gates to make the course slightly more fluent, but still many downhillers struggled.

"It was a downhill like I've never seen before. It was like a giant slalom," Feuz said. "I know where I lost my 18-hundreths. This will never be my favourite course."

The race was interrupted twice for crashes.

The worlds continue Monday with the combined events for both women and men on Monday.

With files from CBC Sports

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