SHIGA KOGEN, Japan (AP) _ Deborah Compagnoni was not about to let it happen again, not in the event she has ruled for the past few years.
A day after blowing a big first-run lead and getting silver in the slalom, Compagnoni threaded her way down an icy giant slalom course to become the first Alpine skier to win gold medals in three Olympics.
Compagnoni took a lead of nearly a full second into the second run Friday (Thursday night EST), and expanded that to 1.8 seconds on a course that other skiers complained was the toughest they’d ever encountered.
Compagnoni finished with a two-run time of 2 minutes, 50.59 seconds to successfully defend the title she won in Lillehammer. She also won a gold medal in the super-G in 1992 at the Albertville Games.
Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria won the silver medal in 2:52.39 and Germany’s Katja Seizinger, winning her third medal in five days, was third in 2:52.61.
Seizinger won gold medals in the downhill and combined earlier this week. Meissnitzer was a bronze medalist in the super-G last week.
A mixture of rain and snow fell during both runs. The second run was moved up 45 minutes because of the deteriorating weather.