(CNN) — Bode Miller became the oldest man to win an Olympic alpine skiing medal Sunday but the 36-year-old American could not prevent Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud from taking a surprise gold in the super-G at Sochi.
Miller led for much of the competition until later starters Jansrud and Andrew Weibrecht left him in a tie for the bronze medal with Canada’s Jan Hudec.
The 28-year-old Jansrud won bronze in the downhill last week so his triumph was not entirely unexpected while Miller’s teammate Weibrecht had claimed the super-G bronze in Vancouver four years before enduring a period of poor results.
Jansrud clocked a time if one minute 18.14 seconds in testing conditions made more difficult by warm temperatures — which meant organizers brought forward the start by one hour.
“It’s a little bit of a cliche, but it’s something you dream about since you’re a kid. I’m one of those kids. Being here is an amazing feeling,” he said.
Weibrecht was just pleased to have found form at exactly the right time to come home 0.30 seconds adrift of the winner.
“It’s been a pretty difficult four years. It’s one of those things: you can only be beaten down so many times before you look at what you’re doing.
“Today is a great affirmation of what I’ve been doing and what I’ve done. I can still compete at this level.”
Miller, was winning his sixth Olympic medal after below-par showings in the downhill and super-combined events.
“I’m happy to not have made catastrophic mistakes,” was his rather downbeat verdict.
The same could not be said for his compatriot and super-G world champion Ted Ligety, who struggled to 14th place, while defending Olympic champion in the discipline, Aksel Lund Svindal, also never challenged for the medals.
But at least Svindal’s fellow Norwegian Jansrud maintained their country’s proud tradition, having now won the last four Olympic super-G titles.
Later, Dutch dominance in speed skating continued apace in the women’s 1500 meters event but hot favorite Ireen Wust had to give second best to compatriot Jorien Ter Moors in the battle for gold.
Lotte Van Beek snatched the bronze medal in the final pairing as it was an all-Orange podium, while Marrit Leenstra was fourth.
Dutch skaters have won 16 medals to date in the speed skating competitions with five gold, five silver and six bronze.
Ter Moors is the first female to compete in both short track and speed skating at the Olympic Winter Games and admitted she was inexperienced.
“I’m not used to these kind of situations. In short track you immediately know if you have won. Now I had to wait and it was very nerve-racking. I never expected to win gold here, but I had a very good race,” she said
Sweden has a similar stranglehold on the relay events in nordic skiing and its men’s quartet repeated the triumph of the 2010 Games in Vancouver by romping to victory in the 4x10km event.
Marcus Hellner anchored them to victory in one hour 28 minutes 42 seconds and in the process claimed his third gold of the Sochi Olympics.
“I’m very lucky to be the man that could do it. It’s incredible,” he said.
Swedish relay triumph
The Swedes were chased home by hosts Russia, who were watched by President Vladimir Putin, while France took a surprise bronze.
Sweden’s women won their 4x10km relay event earlier in the Games.
The Czech Republic enjoyed its first gold of the Games Sunday as Eva Samkova claimed the women’s snowboard supercross title
She led in each round to win from Dominique Maltais of Canada, with Chloe Trespeuch of France taking the bronze.
“I couldn’t imagine this — it was very fortunate for me,” said Samkova.
The qualification rounds were marred by accidents to Norway’s Helene Olafsen and American Jacqueline Hernandez, who were stretchered off the course after crashing heavily.
Russia’s Maria Komissarova, who sustained serious injuries in practice for the freestyle skiing competition, was flown to Munich to receive specialist treatment, her federation confirmed Sunday.
She fractured her spine in the worst accident of the Games and was visited by President Putin in hospital Saturday night before her transfer to Germany.
Russia scrape win
The day after their exciting clash in the men’s ice hockey tournament Russia and the United States scored contrasting victories in their qualifying pool.
Doubtless buoyed by the shootout win over Russia, the U.S. slammed Slovenia 5-1.
Russia and Slovakia went goalless until the hosts made no mistake this time in the shootout with goaltender Semyon Varlamov the hero as he saved two of Slovakia’s penalty efforts.