River Radamus of the United States remains on course for an Alpine skiing clean sweep at Lillehammer 2016 after he sealed his third gold medal with another supreme performance in the men’s giant slalom here today.
The 18-year-old justified his status as the clear favourite as he produced the two quickest runs, clocking an overall time of 2min 35.05sec to finish over a second in front of nearest challenger Yohei Koyama of Japan.
Germany’s Anton Grammel rounded off the podium as he secured bronze in 2:36.54.
Italy’s Pietro Canzio, who earned silver in the super-G before he claimed bronze in the Alpine combined, had emerged as the most likely skier to stand in the way of Radamus earning a hat-trick before he recorded a did not finish in the second run, meaning he missed out on a third consecutive medal.
The victory for Radamus asserted his position as the poster boy of these Games and he looks to have a bright future ahead of him, with success at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang now appearing a real possibility.
“I can’t compare it to anything,” he said.
“I’ve never had success at this scale.
“There are 60 competitors out there and anyone could have won it.
“I went to Vancouver [for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games] and watched the slalom and the giant slalom.
“There’s nothing like this competition, people representing their nations at the highest level of the sport.
“It’s a huge adrenaline rush [to win at the Youth Olympic Games].”
From the outset, Radamus laid down a marker for the rest of the field as he completed his first run in 1:17.16 to lead Italian Canzio by 0.53 seconds.
Koyama was third after the opening run as he clocked 1:18.00 and managed to perform when it mattered as he was second quickest behind the formidable American to clinch silver.
Radamus’ success also catapulted the United States to the summit of the medal table ahead of South Korea as his triumph yielded his nation’s seventh gold of the event.
The recently-turned 18-year-old will go for a fourth title at the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in the slalom race on Friday (February 19).