As the clock continues to count down towards the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, it was unclear whether the men’s downhill and super G test events would even happen. Questions about the venue and its gondola being ready in time for this weekend’s races dominated discussion in the months leading up to the test event, but things came together and the men’s tour is now in South Korea for downhill and super G action.

Racers were unsure of what to expect, as the Jeongseon track has never seen racing of any kind prior to this week. Social media indicates that teams were pleasantly surprised with the venue and its flowy, jump-filled course set.

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Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud set the pace in both of the training runs contested ahead of Saturday’s downhill.

I guess you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” Jansrud shared on his Instagram account on Thursday. “And PyeongChang just aced it. This will be a fantastic venue.”

Jansrud’s pace time of 1:42.65 in the first training run bested second place’s Rommed Baumann of Austria by 0.13 seconds. This year’s Hahnenkamm winner, Peter Fill of Italy, was third, 0.35 seconds off of Janrsud’s pace.

“The race course is in amazing conditions,” said Jansrud. “Probably the best we’ve had since Beaver Creek, and the sun is out, which is great because the last  four downhills run were in foggy weather or rain, so it’s about time. Hopefully we have a good race here in the Far East, and we’ll see how far I can go.”

The American Downhillers also had a strong showing in training run one, landing five skiers into the top 22, led by Andrew Weibrecht and Travis Ganong in a tie for fourth. Steven Nyman followed in sixth, Marco Sullivan in 12th, and Wiley Maple in 22nd. Jared Goldberg, Bryce Bennett, and Thomas Biesemeyer finished outside of the top 30 in 31st, 40th, and 50th, respectively.

“The track is a lot of fun. It has big, long, sweeping turns, kind of like the lower half of Copper,” explained Nyman. “It’s definitely a different culture over here. The food and the people and not understanding anything. I’m coming here with open eyes.”

Not everyone was as enamored with the new venue as Jansrud and the Americans, however, with 2014 Olympic silver medalist Christoph Innerhofer lodging some criticisms of the track.

“Downhill is [called] downhill because you must go 130-160kph,” the Italian said. “When you see the speed and you see 96 kph a lot of people will say, ‘What is this for downhill? I can do this, too.’ This is a little bit sad.”

“It’s hard to have a track that makes everyone happy,” said Jansurd – who is also the athlete representative this week – in response to the criticism. “This downhill is perfect for some athletes, and for others it needs adjustments like open some gates or shape the jumps. I personally like it that way, it’s a lot of fun with all these jumps, but my job is to bring the feedbacks to the Race Directors so they can adapt the course before race day.”

Jansrud also set the pace in training run two with a total time of 1:41.18 seconds, 0.39 and 0.49 seconds ahead of a pair of Italians with Fill and Dominik Paris in second and third, respectively.

The Americans once again had five skiers inside the top 30, with Nyman leading in fourth, Ganong finished eighth, Weibrecht 21st, Biesemeyer 22nd, Sullivan 30th, Maple 36th, Goldberg 42nd, and Bennett 46th.

“Yesterday, we learned a lot in video review,” Nyman said. “I was happy with my skiing, I still had a couple of little mistakes down here, but I’ll look at more video tonight and hopefully clean that up tomorrow and push for the podium. I’m comfortable here and I’m comfortable with my body and my skiing right now, so it’s really nice.”

Weibrecht’s mind may have been elsewhere, though, as he and his wife Denja became first-time parents as Denja gave birth to a little girl on Feb. 4 named Adelina back home in New York.

With the time change, fans in North American will actually be able to watch Saturday’s race on Friday night, as downhill action is slated to get underway at 12 noon local time, or 10 p.m. EST.


 

Official Results Training One

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff.
 1  16  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:42.65
 2  8  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:42.78  +0.13
 3  17  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:43.00  +0.35
 4  26  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA  1:43.36  +0.71
 4  13  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:43.36  +0.71
 6  9  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA  1:43.43  +0.78
 7  3  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:43.50  +0.85
 8  7  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:43.61  +0.96
 9  22  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:43.65  +1.00
 10  27  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:43.78  +1.13
 10  20  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN  1:43.78  +1.13
 12  2  533131 SULLIVAN Marco 1980 USA  1:43.81  +1.16
 13  38  194298 GIEZENDANNER Blaise 1991 FRA  1:43.82  +1.17
 14  4  191964 POISSON David 1982 FRA  1:43.87  +1.22
 15  29  50753 KROELL Klaus 1980 AUT  1:43.89  +1.24
 16  19  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:43.95  +1.30
 17  10  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  1:43.97  +1.32
 18  14  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:44.06  +1.41
 19  39  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:44.17  +1.52
 20  34  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  1:44.27  +1.62
 21  11  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:44.30  +1.65
 22  47  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA  1:44.41  +1.76
 23  32  560447 SPORN Andrej 1981 SLO  1:44.42  +1.77
 24  24  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:44.49  +1.84
 24  6  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT  1:44.49  +1.84
 26  30  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:44.50  +1.85
 27  35  194542 GIRAUD MOINE Valentin 1992 FRA  1:44.61  +1.96
 28  18  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:44.62  +1.97
 29  5  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:44.77  +2.12
 30  45  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:44.80  +2.15
 31  37  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:44.81  +2.16
 32  41  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:44.91  +2.26
 32  15  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:44.91  +2.26
 34  1  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  1:44.92  +2.27
 35  12  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:44.93  +2.28
 36  21  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:45.00  +2.35
 37  42  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN  1:45.12  +2.47
 38  28  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:45.29  +2.64
 39  46  202196 BRANDNER Klaus 1990 GER  1:45.33  +2.68
 40  23  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:45.39  +2.74
 41  25  292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA  1:45.47  +2.82
 42  50  511638 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI  1:45.51  +2.86
 43  33  53933 SCHWEIGER Patrick 1990 AUT  1:45.54  +2.89
 44  40  103512 FRISCH Jeffrey 1984 CAN  1:45.64  +2.99
 45  48  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:45.66  +3.01
 46  44  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:45.81  +3.16
 47  36  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:45.85  +3.20
 48  49  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  1:46.24  +3.59
 49  51  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  1:46.33  +3.68
 50  43  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:46.35  +3.70
 51  56  370022 JENOT Olivier 1988 MON  1:46.98  +4.33
 52  53  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN  1:47.21  +4.56
 53  54  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  1:47.58  +4.93
 54  57  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK  1:48.70  +6.05
 55  55  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA  1:48.82  +6.17
 56  31  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:49.98  +7.33
Did not finish 1st run
 52  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA

Official Results Training Two

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff.
 1  16  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:41.18
 2  15  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:41.57  +0.39
 3  19  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:41.67  +0.49
 4  9  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA  1:41.68  +0.50
 5  10  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN  1:41.76  +0.58
 6  2  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:42.07  +0.89
 7  11  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:42.09  +0.91
 8  12  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:42.35  +1.17
 9  17  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:42.45  +1.27
 9  13  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:42.45  +1.27
 11  18  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  1:42.58  +1.40
 12  20  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:42.62  +1.44
 12  1  191964 POISSON David 1982 FRA  1:42.62  +1.44
 14  24  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:42.76  +1.58
 15  14  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:42.90  +1.72
 16  6  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:43.00  +1.82
 17  8  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:43.04  +1.86
 18  35  194542 GIRAUD MOINE Valentin 1992 FRA  1:43.06  +1.88
 19  7  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:43.11  +1.93
 20  3  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:43.29  +2.11
 21  26  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA  1:43.53  +2.35
 22  43  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:43.54  +2.36
 23  21  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:43.55  +2.37
 24  38  194298 GIEZENDANNER Blaise 1991 FRA  1:43.60  +2.42
 25  45  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:43.67  +2.49
 26  32  560447 SPORN Andrej 1981 SLO  1:43.68  +2.50
 27  22  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:43.74  +2.56
 28  29  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT  1:43.75  +2.57
 28  25  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:43.75  +2.57
 30  28  533131 SULLIVAN Marco 1980 USA  1:43.82  +2.64
 31  27  50753 KROELL Klaus 1980 AUT  1:43.84  +2.66
 32  34  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  1:43.88  +2.70
 33  46  202196 BRANDNER Klaus 1990 GER  1:43.97  +2.79
 34  39  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:44.10  +2.92
 35  44  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:44.16  +2.98
 36  47  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA  1:44.19  +3.01
 37  33  53933 SCHWEIGER Patrick 1990 AUT  1:44.23  +3.05
 38  49  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  1:44.31  +3.13
 39  48  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:44.40  +3.22
 40  42  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN  1:44.43  +3.25
 41  51  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  1:44.44  +3.26
 42  37  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:44.50  +3.32
 43  5  292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA  1:44.63  +3.45
 44  4  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  1:44.64  +3.46
 45  30  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:44.66  +3.48
 46  23  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:44.89  +3.71
 47  55  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA  1:44.95  +3.77
 48  31  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:45.16  +3.98
 49  50  511638 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI  1:45.43  +4.25
 50  53  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN  1:45.71  +4.53
 51  36  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:45.77  +4.59
 52  54  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  1:46.27  +5.09
 53  56  370022 JENOT Olivier 1988 MON  1:46.84  +5.66
 54  57  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK  1:47.83  +6.65
 55  40  103512 FRISCH Jeffrey 1984 CAN  1:48.54  +7.36
Did not start 1st run
 52  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA
Did not finish 1st run
 41  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO