PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - If Matthias Mayer’s upset of the Norwegians to win the Olympic super-G gold on Friday was something of a surprise, it was nothing to the sight of Frenchman Blaise Giezendanner in a podium position after the first 10 skiers had run.
The 26-year-old, competing in his first Olympics, knocked Aksel Lund Svindal no less out of the medals with his blistering run down the Jeongseon piste in one minute, 24.82 seconds.
Even if he was ultimately surpassed by Mayer and Beat Feuz, fourth place in an Olympic speed race was an impressive accomplishment for a man whose best result in four World Cup campaigns was eighth in a super-G at Jeongseon in 2016.
“I did my best but I couldn’t win today,” he told reporters.
“If you check the video maybe you could find some mistakes. I don’t know if I could win today, but I’m just happy with what I did.
“This was a great lesson today. Maybe see you in four years and maybe it will be different.”
In September last year, Giezendanner suffered a serious right knee injury while training in Chile and did not return to the slopes until November.
“I won’t complain because I was injured at the beginning of the season, so for me it was already a victory to be here,” he added.
“I never felt I would be fourth at the Olympics so I think I might be a bit disappointed tonight, but for now I have no regrets and I’m just happy to be here.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury