PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: The 'curse' of the men's downhill at the Winter Olympics remained intact on Thursday as Austrian Matthias Mayer became the latest to fail to retain the most prestigious title in Alpine skiing.
In the 70 years of competition, no man has successfully defended the title, which will continue for another four years as Mayer, a surprise winner in Sochi four years ago, was way off the pace on Thursday.
Mayer, the 11th racer to start, produced a ragged run to post one minute, 41.46 seconds, more than a second behind early leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who posted 1:40.25 as the seventh man out.
The downhill took place in clear, sunny conditions having been postponed from Sunday due to high winds.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, Editing by Greg Stutchbury)