American skier Ted Ligety took first place in the giant slalom event at the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup competition in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday, according to results posted on the FIS website. The two-time Olympic gold medalist finished less than a quarter-second ahead of France’s Thomas Fanara, the second-place finisher. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher took third place.
“It was tough. I am a little bit surprised I made it to the finish line as it’s a battlefield out there,” Ligety told NBC Sports. “So many ruts in there and tough to see, so I just tried to hammer and look for speed.”
Sunday’s performance also marked Ligety’s 50th podium finish and 25th career victory at the FIS World Cup, according to NBC Sports. Previously, he has won the giant slalom event at World Cup competitions in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Lenzerheide, Switzerland, but lost to Hirscher at Alta Badia, Italy, and Are, Sweden, in December 2014. Together, the two have won 22 out of the 26 past giant slalom World Cup events, according to the FIS website.
“It went better than I expected,” Hirscher told NBC Sports. “I am very relieved that I am there among the best. You see the other guys getting stronger, so I have to keep up with their progress.”