Switzerland's Didier Cuche has fought off his Olympic disappointment to clinch victory in the final super-G race of the season.
The 27-year-old from Neuchatel finished Thursday's race in Altenmarkt more than a third of a second ahead of Austria's Fritz Strobl with Italy's Alessandro Fattori a further 26 hundredths of a second behind.
Cuche's first ever win in the super-G discipline was also the first by any Swiss skier in just over ten years. The last Swiss to triumph in the super-G was veteran star Paul Accola, who showed his continuing ability on Thursday with a 14th place finish.
Cuche's second win of the season, and his first in the super-G discipline, was enough to earn the Swiss star second place in the overall super-G standings. World Cup winner Stephan Eberharter of Austria grabbed the overall super-G title after finishing Thursday's race in fourth place.
A similar performance by Cuche in Sunday's giant slalom could yet see the Swiss skier win that discipline's overall title and finish second behind Eberharter in the men's overall standings.
Cuche's latest victory will have tasted all the sweeter after his failure to win a medal in Salt Lake City. Tipped as a possible contender for three Olympic medals, the Swiss skier suffered his most bitter disappointment in the super-G, losing control of his skis when apparently just seconds away from the gold.
Good team performance
Having also left Salt Lake empty-handed, Cuche's Swiss team-mates were also celebrating some good all-round performances on Thursday.
Rising stars Didier Défago, Tobias Grünenfelder and Ambrosi Hoffmann all secured top ten finishes, crossing the line in sixth, ninth and tenth place respectively. Hoffmann, who shared tenth place with Austria's Andreas Schifferer, was able to look back on two days of good skiing - having come second in Wednesday's downhill.
The Swiss women's team were unable to match the efforts of their male counterparts on Thursday, although Corinne Rey-Bellet managed a top ten place after finishing the women's super-G in eighth position.
The result was Rey-Bellet's second best of the season in the super-G discipline, following a sixth place finish in Cortina d'Ampezzo in January.
The 29-year-old from canton Valais took fourth place in Wednesday's final downhill to finish third in the overall standings for her favourite discipline.
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