Gold favorite Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (29) was one of only three runners who got to run the last downhill training. Kjetil Jansrud (36) is among the athletes who react.
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– It’s not okay at all. This is a great advantage for the three who have been allowed to drive. You notice in the whole field, myself included, that there is a huge difference between those who have had their third turn down and those who have not. It is problematic, says Jansrud to Discovery + before he criticizes race director Markus Waldner.
– There is complete chaos with the flow of information, and you get the impression that Markus runs a slightly dictator line without information. It is very difficult to be a performer at the top, and have no idea if there will be anything or not.
Another who seemed annoyed at the top after the cancellation was the Swiss downhill specialist Beat Feuz, who stormed away when the decision reached him.
– Many people think we should continue, but it was too dangerous. It was unpredictable. After three runners, we decided to cancel. We also chose not to wait, because the weather would not get better, Waldner says to Discovery +, before he responds to the criticism:
– This is outdoor sports. It’s not always fair.
Strong winds at the top of the track in Yanqing meant that Saturday’s downhill training – the last before Sunday’s race – was canceled after the first three runners had been downhill.
Then Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, with start number 3, had just run down to the best time in the three training rounds that have been run on the slopes.
– It was not a stable wind. It got started. That made it dangerous, especially on the jumps. It was better to stop it, says Kilde to Swiss SRF after training.
At the top, several athletes discussed the decision, including the Swiss World Cup leader Marco Odermatt who spoke with compatriot Niels Hintermann, French Johan Clarey and Austrian Max Frans about the possibility of running the training session from further down the hill.
– Everything is better than nothing, says Odermatt, before Clarey went to take the proposal to his coach.
In addition to Kilde, Christof Innerhofer (Italy) and Matthias Mayer (Austria) also did Saturday’s training.
Discovery expert Tom Stiansen now predicts that there will be trouble at the team leader meeting later Saturday.
– That jury decision is as unfair as it gets, Stiansen says Eurosport.
– This is the Olympics’ first major scandal, Stiansen states.
The 51-year-old has himself participated in two Olympics, and made his Olympic debut in the downhill in Albertville in 1992.
Sunday’s downhill starts at 04:00 and is broadcast on TV Norway. Better weather conditions have been reported for Sunday’s race. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is the gold favorite there.
The Norwegian was second fastest of those who drove within all the gates of the first training, and fastest of the second training.