Norway’s skiing sensation Aksel Lund Svindal now says he’s happy about a break in the World Championships events schedule, with no further major events for him until Friday. A disappointing run on Monday left him limping after he had trouble on the mountain.
Svindal, who made racing history over the weekend, hasn’t been training for as much slalom skiing as downhill and he had an unusually bad day on the job on Monday. After winning gold in the Men’s Downhill race on Saturday, he landed in second place in the mid-day downhill part of the “super combination” event that combines downhill and slalom.
He figured he still had chance at another medal, at least a bronze, so told news bureau NTB that he “just had to give it my all” in the slalom part of the event that continued Monday evening.
“But you don’t win a medal if you’re not careful,” Svindal told NTB. He clipped a gate and was out of the race, with Svindal ruefully noting later that he felt the effects of “hardly training any slalom either.”
What’s worse, Svindal told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Tuesday that it was painful to walk. “I’m limping,” he said. He said it actually was easier to ski than to walk, but he was glad he didn’t have to compete for the next three days.
The reason is what was described as a stretching injury on the back of his knee that occurred not when he clipped the slalom gate but during the downhill race earlier in the day. The injury initially threw into question whether he should run the slalom course, but Svindal wanted to do so.
“When I’m skiing alpine-style, the knee is bent and it’s fine,” Svindal said. “But as soon as my leg stretches out, it hurts.” He also said his knee had swelled up.
“The doctors say the injury isn’t dangerous, but it’s painful,” Svindal told NRK. “There’s also a danger it can get worse. It will be good with a few days off.”
On Friday, though, Svindal expects to be back in action when the Grand Slalom for men takes place starting at 10am. He doesn’t worry that his knee problem will mean a halt to world championship competition where Svindal already has set new medal records and wants to keep that up. He’s not favoured to win the Grand Slalom, but wants to give it his best shot. He won slalom gold at the World Championships six years ago.
“It’ll be fine to ski the Grand Slalom,” he told NRK. “There was lots of training planned for the days without competition but now I probably have to take some time off. I have three days to recover and I can take off if I’m not 100 percent.”
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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