Hirscher pipped to combined gold as Aerni springs St Moritz surprise


Marcel Hirscher missed out on defending his FIS World Ski Championships Alpine combined title by one hundredth of a second, as Luca Aerni claimed a shock victory in St Moritz.

Hirscher - the dominant figure in men's alpine skiing - was seeking to become the seventh man to claim back-to-back successes in the event, having beaten Kjetil Jansrud and Ted Ligety to gold two years ago.

However, the Austrian had to settle for silver on Monday after being out-shone on the slalom run by Switzerland's Aerni.

"I am tired of losing a race by 0.01," said a frustrated Hirscher, as quoted by SVT. "But at the end of the day it's a medal."

The unheralded Aerni had sat 30th after the downhill, but took advantage of being given first use of the slalom course.

A run lasting just 44.47 seconds ensured Aerni, who has never made the podium in an FIS World Cup event, posted a combined time of two minutes and 26.33 seconds, enough to edge out Hirscher by the slimmest of margins.

"I was really nervous the last 45 minutes waiting for everyone to finish," said Aerni.

"I could only watch and hope as the others came down. I knew my slalom run was good, but with the combined you never know what will happen. It was definitely a long wait until I realised I had the gold medal."

Another Swiss, Mauro Caviezel, took bronze ahead of Dominik Paris and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.