Austria's Mayer wins downhill; Miller fails to medal

The Sports NetworkFebruary 9, 2014 

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Austria's Matthias Mayer won gold in the men's downhill Sunday at the Sochi Games, while Bode Miller of the United States came up empty in his bid for a sixth Olympic medal.

Mayer, who finished 13th in the downhill at the 2013 World Championships, won the first alpine skiing event of the Sochi Olympics with a time of 2 minutes, 6.23 seconds.

It's the first Olympic medal for Mayer and the second for his family. Mayer's father, Helmut, won a silver medal in the super-G at the 1988 Calgary Games.

"This is unbelieveable. I thought maybe in a few years I could dream of this sort of achievement," Mayer said.

Italy's Christof Innerhofer finished just .06 seconds behind Mayer for silver, while Norway's Kjetil Jansrud, a silver medalist in giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Games, picked up the bronze.

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won silver in the downhill at the 2010 Olympics but he finished fourth on Sunday.

At 36 years of age, Miller is a five-time Olympic medalist, but he failed to pick up hardware in Sunday's downhill after taking bronze in the event four years ago in Vancouver.

Miller was the fastest skier through his first two split times before clipping a gate in the middle of the course and finishing eighth with a time of 2:06.72. He was attempting to become the oldest man ever to win Olympic gold in alpine skiing.

"I would've loved to win. This is the premier event," said Miller. "I thought I had a good chance at it. I was well- prepared."

Miller's next chance at a medal will come in Friday's super combined, an event he won gold in at the Vancouver Games.

"I have four races left," Miller added. "It's time to move on from this and start thinking about those."

Travis Ganong had the best showing for an American on Sunday, finishing fifth with a time of 2:06.64.

Erik Guay was the top Canadian finisher, completing the run at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center in 2:07.04 to place 10th.

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