Defending world and Olympic champions Switzerland finish outside medals as Germany take bronze in Cortina d'Ampezzo
Norway have won their first mixed team title at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, after a dramatic 3-1 win over Scandinavian neighbours Sweden in the final on Wednesday (17 February).
The event, featuring four skiers – two men and two women – representing each team, was held in a parallel giant slalom format.
PyeongChang 2018 bronze medallists Norway were the strongest team on the day, seeing off Japan 4-0, the United States on a time tiebreaker (the times of the fastest man and woman from each team added together), and perhaps surprisingly, reigning world and Olympic champions Switzerland (again on a tiebreaker) in the semi-finals.
Sweden, meanwhile, had reached the final by despatching Slovenia 3-1, Olympic silver medallists Austria on a time tiebreaker, and Germany also on a tiebreaker.
There was some controversy in the big final as Sweden's Kristoffer Jakobsen, who beat Norway's Sebastian Foss-Solevåg in the second heat, was forced into a re-run as it was determined that Jakobsen had skied into Foss-Solevåg's line, forcing the Norwegian to miss a gate.
That original result had levelled the gold medal matchup at 1-1 after Thea Louise Stjernesund had beat Estelle Alphand in the first race, but the re-run (held after Sara Hector had scored another point for Sweden) resulted in a win for Foss-Solevåg on the blue course – the first racer to win on the blue course in the semi-final or final rounds – to give Norway a 2-1 lead.
And when Fabian Wilkens Solheim defeated Mattias Rönngren in the final race, gold was secured for the Norwegians.
The top seeds, Switzerland, suffered an upset as they were knocked out by Norway in the semi-finals after a 2-2 tie.
They suffered the same fate in the small final against Germany – trailing 2-1, Semyel Bissig faced Alexander Schmid in the final race. While Bissig beat his German opponent, he did not cross the finish line in the time required and Germany took the bronze on the tiebreaker.
Similar to Tuesday's individual parallel races, the blue course appeared distinctly slower than the red course, but with both teams having two races on each course in each match-up, and no time deficit applied, the disadvantage was neutralised and team tactics – putting the right skiers on each course – took over.
The individual races continue at the World Championships with the women's giant slalom on Thursday, 18 February.