American Nyman secures rare win in ski downhill
VAL GARDENA, Italy - American skier Steven Nyman secured a rare World Cup victory here on Saturday, as he won a shortened men’s downhill event in a race that was delayed several times due to inclement weather.
Nyman, 30, clocked 1minute 28.82seconds to clinch the second win of his career — his only other triumph coincidentally came in a downhill at the same venue in December 2006 — as he benefitted from improving conditions at the Italian resort that was subjected to heavy snowfall and low visibility.
“I think only that my closest relatives and friends would have bet on me to win. I knew I had to pick my opportunity,” said Nyman.
“I did some great training and this course really suits me.”
Rok Perko claimed a maiden podium finish, as the Slovenian finished second — 0.19sec behind Nyman — while Canada’s Erik Guay, who had appeared destined to triumph before a surprising late intervention was third at 0.24sec.
Organisers had initially planned for the race to be divided into two shorter runs using the Super-G starting position, but it was eventually reduced to just one as the poor weather refused to subside.
Guay set the early pace in the Dolomites, but the Canadian was eventually usurped by Perko before Nyman stole the show.
Wearing the number 39 bib, Nyman, who has been beset by injuries in recent seasons, hurtled down the Val Gardena course to earn an unexpected victory, one day shy of six years since his only other World Cup triumph.
Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal — the winner of Friday’s Super-G — finished fifth to stretch his advantage atop the standings to 177 points over inactive American Ted Ligety.