Marco Odermatt broke a 23-year record as he claimed victory in the last men’s World Cup giant slalom of the season in Soldeu, Andorra.
Odermatt’s win means he passes the all-time men’s World Cup ski points record set by the great Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season. The highest overall points record belongs to Tina Maze, who claimed 2,414 points in 2013.
The Swiss just needed to finish in the top three to break Maier’s season record of 2,000 points, a feat he achieved in stylish fashion.
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“Today wasn’t easy, I was nervous again because of those 2,000 points, so I really wanted this podium today. I don’t know what to say.”
Questioned what breaking Maier’s record meant, Odermatt said: “Yeah, a lot actually. The past days, I always said: ‘no, no, not so important, just numbers’. But now I knew it’s more important than I said. So, very happy that it worked.”
So, is there more partying on the cards on Saturday night?
“I truly don’t know if I have enough energy because I’m really, really empty,” laughed Odermatt. “Yeah, the important thing I guess was the race and we’ll see how much energy is left for the party.”
Searching for his seventh World Cup giant slalom win this season and his 13th across all of the disciplines, Odermatt was 1.09s quicker than Alexis Pinturault in the first run.
The 25-year-old dealt with the terrain nicely, delivering an outstanding performance, one which we have become accustomed to this season. He saved his best to the last third of the challenge. His timing was impeccable as he topped the standings in a time of 1:07.86.
Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen had set the target total time of 2:21.75 for Odermatt in the second run, and with conditions difficult and the course at its worst, the Swiss had his work cut out.
But he made it look so easy as he produced another mesmerising display to successfully defend his giant slalom title with a time of 1:11.78 and a total time of 2:19.64, more than two seconds ahead of his nearest opponent.
Kristoffersen bowed in front of him in a great show of respect, and, in fact, everyone was on their feet to salute Odermatt, who signed off 2023 with a spectacular victory which took his points total for the season to 2,042.
In the end, Kristoffersen will settle for his seventh podium finish this season. Austria’s Marco Schwarz claimed third position in 2:21.93, a great way to wrap up his campaign after taking a podium finish in the super-G.
It was a disappointing day for Alexander Steen Olsen, who slid out late in the second run having been third at halfway.
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