leads the way in downhill training
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[February 06, 2014]
By Alan Baldwin
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) — Alpine
skiing showman Bode Miller is rarely short on confidence but gave
himself a boost anyway by setting the fastest time in training for the
showcase men's Olympic downhill at the Sochi Games on Thursday.
The U.S. veteran, in his fifth Winter Games at the age of 36,
sped down the Rosa Khutor piste with a time of two minutes 07.75
seconds on a brilliant sunny afternoon in the mountains above Sochi.
"My confidence is never really my issue," he grinned as he spoke to
reporters afterwards. "Unfortunately they don't give any medals for
training because if they did I'd be psyched today.
"But it certainly doesn't hurt. To come out here and ski hard, ski
well, first run is great," added the five times Olympic medalist,
who aims to become the oldest man to win an Alpine gold.
Switzerland's Patrick Kueng was second-fastest, a mere 0.03 slower,
with Austrian Matthias Mayer third, 0.17 slower than Miller in a
session that saw all of the top contenders ski well within their
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Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, the Olympic super-G champion and 2010
downhill silver medalist, was eighth on the timesheets.
"It was a bad run, to be honest," said Svindal, the overall World
Cup leader and an early favorite.
"I was 1.2 (seconds) behind. I would definitely like to be faster,
but I have some big things I need to change so I'm not too worried
The downhill opens the Alpine program on Sunday.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Peter Rutherford)
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