Downhill bronze for Pärson

Anja Pärson, Sweden's biggest medal hope at the Winter Olympics, notched up her first podium place on Wednesday morning.

But she had to make do with bronze in the women’s downhill skiing after Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria and Martina Schild of Switzerland dominated the race.

Dorfmeister, 32, who is already assured of the World Cup downhill title, crushed the opposition on the 3,058m long course at San Sicario Fraiteve, currently the world’s longest ladies’ run.

The Austrian finished in 1min 56.49sec, 0.37sec ahead of Schild, granddaughter of Hedy Schulnegger, the downhill gold medallist in the 1948 Olympic Games. Pärson was 0.64sec off the pace.

The challenging course had already scuppered the hopes of some competitors in training and Pärson said afterwards that she was happy to have got through the race in one piece.

“Of course, I wonder whether I could have done better and so on, but I’m satisfied not to have skied out. To win bronze feels wonderful,” she told SVT.

This was Pärson’s third Olympic bronze medal and she has three more chances to improve her medal tally in Turin – in the slalom, the giant slalom and the super-G.