Austrian Julia Dujmovits had moments earlier won the first
women's title on the event's Olympic debut but it was Wild's
second triumph for his adopted country after his giant slalom
gold on Wednesday that brought the crowd to a crescendo.
Wild had looked down and out in the semi-finals but staged a
remarkable second run comeback to reach the final, where he
edged giant slalom bronze medalist Zan Kosir in a thriller.
"Beyond believable," said the 27-year-old Wild.
"When I came to the Olympics and showed up I had already won. To
win the other day was the greatest feeling of my life. I can't
Benjamin Karl lost to Wild in the semi but took bronze to give
Austria their first two Extreme Park medals on the last day of
action at the Caucasus Mountains venue.
The silver and bronze behind Dujmovits went to Germany's Anke
Karstens and Amelie Kober, the latter winning the "small" final
despite riding in a splint after injuring her elbow on
The Extreme Park program ended as it had started with a big
crowd watching the qualification rounds bathed in bright
sunshine under picture-perfect blue skies.
Both world champions, Slovenia's Rok Marguc and Ekaterina
Tudegesheva of Russia, went out in the last 16, as did the
women's parallel giant slalom champion in Sochi, Swiss Patrizia
Also making an early exit was Russian Alena Zavarzina, who
prompted Wild's nationality switch when they wed in 2011 and won
bronze on the giant slalom course on Wednesday.
It looked like being a double disappointment in the slalom when
Wild made a mistake five gates from the end of the opening run
of the semi-final to fall more than a second behind Karl.
The slalom sometimes suffers from the need to give the riders a
go on both sides of the course but the second run of this race
lacked nothing in drama.
Wild burst out of the gate and was soon into the rhythm that had
made him the standout slalom performer this week, closing the
gap on Karl before leaning his body forward to slide across the
line by 0.04 of a second.
After that, the final could have been an anti-climax but Kosir
charged back after making a slight mistake halfway through the
first run to keep matters tight.
Wild, though, was not going to let the second gold slip out of
his hands and carved his way down the 325 meter slope and around
the 28 gates to claim victory by just over a tenth of a second,
sending the crowd into a frenzy.
"All those power drills I did in the summer, they really paid
off. Nobody could keep up," said Wild.
"It has taken a lot of hard work, man. When everyone else in the
summer is taking vacation, I am working hard.
"I train, I train, and it paid off."
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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