Mathieu Faivre became France’s first male giant slalom world champion of the modern era after winning his second gold of the Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Faivre bagged the individual parallel world title earlier in the week and doubled his tally in dramatic style to become the first French male winner in the alpine discipline since Jean-Claude Killy in 1968.
The 29-year-old sat fourth following the first run but a crisp and clear second effort saw him almost a second clear with just three to ski at Italy’s 2026 Olympic venue.
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And his combined time of 2:37.25 proved to be a winning one, victorious by 0.63 seconds with teammate Alexis Pinturault and Alexander Schmid of Germany – who both sat in the top three at the halfway stage – failing to complete their second runs.
Silver went to home favourite Luca de Aliprandini, who produced one of the performances of his career to take World Championship glory in emotional scenes.
The Italian was looking for his first career podium, though hopes were fading when time began to tick away across the run.
But the 30-year-old – second at halfway – pushed in the latter stages and clawed things back to guarantee himself a medal, an achievement that brought him to tears when crossing the line.
Marco Schwarz took home bronze for Austria, leaping from sixth after the first run to finish in the top three for the second time in this World Championships after winning the same colour medal in the combined event.
Just one skier recorded a better second-run time than his 1:19.01, rising three places to round off a dramatic podium following Pinturault and Schmid’s respective misfortune.
Pinturault had led by 0.40 seconds after the first run and looked set to finally end his wait for a giant slalom world title, only to miss a gate early in his second run.
Instead, the day belonged to Faivre, five years on from his sole giant slalom World Cup gold, winning his third World Championship title after he and Pinturault helped France to team event glory in 2017.
The alpine skiing World Championships continue on Saturday with the women’s slalom taking centre stage before the men’s event rounds off the competition on Sunday.
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