Super Ted triumphs
US skier Ted Ligety stormed to Olympic giant slalom gold yesterday.
Four-time world champion Ligety (left), who disappointed in the super-combined and super-G, stamped his authority on the race early, leading by nearly a second after the first run in picture-perfect conditions on the Rosa Khutor slopes.
The 29-year-old, who won combined gold at the 2006 Turin Games, did enough on his second ski to beat Frenchman Steve Missillier by nearly half a second in an overall time of 2min 45.29sec. French tyro Alexis Pinturault took bronze.
"This is my first gold medal since 2006, but it was easier back then," said Ligety, who becomes the first US man to win two gold medals in alpine skiing.
"I was only 21 and I didn't have all that struggle before."
"This is the event I wanted the most," he added.
"This is the event I have been putting so much pressure on myself to win, so to pull through is an awesome feeling."
While Super Ted triumphed, his compatriot Bode Miller despaired.
Six-time Olympic medallist Miller will not race in Saturday's slalom after his left knee puffed up while skiing to 20th in the giant slalom, his likely Winter Games swansong.
Miller missed the whole of last season after undergoing knee surgery in the spring of 2012, but has rebounded in impressive form.
The American, at the age of 36 years and 127 days, became the oldest alpine skiing medallist when he claimed bronze in the men's super-G on the testing Rosa Khutor course last weekend.
It was his sixth Olympic medal after super-combined gold in 2010, where he also won a super-G silver and downhill bronze, and two silvers in the giant slalom and combined at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
But there was no chance of a podium showing in yesterday's giant slalom, won in convincing manner by teammate Ligety, and Miller later confirmed he would not race the slalom.
"I'm bummed I'm out for the slalom, I wanted a miracle. Thank you all for the amazing support, it's been incredible," tweeted Miller.
The American had earlier complained about his knee.
"It's asking a bit much of my left knee still on those kind of bumps," Miller admitted after powering down the hard, and in parts rutted, piste for a second time.
"Confidence wise, I just don't feel comfortable dropping it in there. It's cost me on the two runs."
Away from the action on the slopes, the International Olympic Committee rejected a request by Ukrainian athletes in Sochi to wear black armbands in mourning after violence that has left at least 25 people dead. - Wire Services.