Svindal wins Norway's first downhill gold

Aksel Lund Svindal has given Norway a first-ever men's Olympic downhill gold in alpine skiing's blue riband race at the Pyeongchang Games.

The 35-year-old five-time world champion posted 1 minute 40.25 seconds on the 2.965 km Jeongseon course on Thursday, 0.12 seconds faster than countryman Kjetil Jansrud who took silver.

Beat Feuz of Switzerland, attempting to add Olympic gold to his world title last year, took bronze, 0.18 seconds behind Svindal.

Svindal now has a second Olympic gold following a super-g win at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where he also won silver in the downhill and bronze in the giant slalom.

The 2007 and 2013 downhill world champion was fourth in the downhill in Sochi four years ago.

"Kjetil (Jansrud) was exceptionally quick at the top - I wasn't so good there. But I knew from the second jump to the end I was quick. A double victory (for Norway) - a great day for us," Svindal said.

Jansrud has added silver to the super-g gold he won in Sochi, when he was third in the downhill, while Svindal becomes the first male skier to win both Olympic speed events.

The downhill was the only men's alpine ski event in which Norway had never won an Olympic gold medal.

Feuz, starting fifth on a bright day in the race postponed from Sunday, laid down the best time but Svindal, two starts later, was aggressive from the start, going wide early on but recovering to build a lead from the middle sector.

Jansrud looked for a while as if he would be even quicker but after setting a series of fastest split times made a slight error in the lower half which cost him gold.

"It means everything to us - and not just for us two," Jansrud said after the first one-two finish for a nation in 40 years since Swiss Pirmin Zurbriggen and Peter Mueller led the way at Calgaray 1988.

"We worked hard. The only thing you can do is risk everything, go flat out. Sometimes then there are mistakes."

Feuz was one of the strong favourites going into the race after winning the last men's World Cup downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen before the Games to follow up his downhill victory in Wengen, Switzerland and a second place in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

"The two Norwegians were incredible. They were to be reckoned with on this course, even though they had said in training they had gone flat out - but they hadn't," Feuz said.

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