River Radamus (centre) claims the first US gold of Lillehammer 2016 ©FIS/Twitter

United States River Radamus claimed the men's super-G title here at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympics today after Austria's Nadine Fest won the first gold medal of the Games in any sport in the corresponding women's event.

Both races were a lesson in the importance of punctuality for the spectators, with Radamus, the floppy-haired American who celebrated his 18th birthday at the Opening Ceremony yesterday, the very first of the 56 entrants to tackle the slope.

He descended superbly to clock a time of 1min 10.62sec.

Italian Pietro Canzio came within 0.03 seconds to clock 1:10.62 but it ultimately proved a case of so close yet so far.

Canzio settled for silver while the bronze medal went to Austria's Manuel Traninger in 1:11.03.

Radamus, whose victory was watched by a crowd including United States Olympic Committee (USOC) President, Larry Probst, will attempt to win more medals here.

The slalom is his preferred discipline and one in which he is the current US national junior champion.

Austria's Nadine Fest claimed the first gold medal of Lillehammer 2016 ©Lillehammer 2016
Austria's Nadine Fest claimed the first gold medal of Lillehammer 2016 ©Lillehammer 2016

The victory of the American followed a dominant triumph for Fest in the women's event.

The 17-year-old clearly likes competing on the course, which held technical events at the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, having won three gold medals here at the Norwegian National Junior Championships last month.

Starting sixth, she powered down the hill and glided across the slope to finish in 1:11.93, a 0.63 seconds ahead of her closest rival, team-mate Julia Scheib.

The bronze medal went to Switzerland's Aline Danioth in 1:12.69 as all three medal winners came from the first 15 of the 45 strong field.

Six male and seven female starters failed to finish in firm conditions which were far from straightforward.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach was among others watching the action, greeting Kenya's first international Alpine skier Sabrina Simader after she had finished a respectable 23rd of the 37 finishers.

Action is due to continue here tomorrow with male and female Alpine combined events, a combination of super-G and slalom.