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  Saturday, 8 February, 2003, 07:17 GMT
Miller grabs combined crown
Bode Miller
Miller was outside the top 15 after the downhill
Bode Miller fought back after a poor downhill run to win gold in the men's combined event at the World Ski Championships in St Moritz.

The American, who won the silver medal in the event at last year's Olympics in Salt Lake City, was only 17th after the downhill run.

But he jumped to fourth after the first slalom heat and clinched the gold with a blistering second run.

When you've got a team feeling like that, it's contagious

Bode Miller on the US success

Miller, known for his aggressive skiing style, took the title with an aggregate time of three minutes 18.41 seconds.

It was his second medal in as many races after winning silver in the super-G on Sunday.

America now lead the medal table after their fourth medal of the Championships.

Miller said: "Being on top in such a tight competition is a great success.

"There was quite a big gap after the downhill so I just decided to go for it, and that's what I did.

"Once your momentum starts building like that, you know, we all feel good, we want to race our hardest here.

"When you've got a team feeling like that, it's contagious."

Lasse Kjus was second on 3:18.48 and fellow Norwegian Kjetil Andre Aamodt was third in 3:18.54.

That gave them both a record-tying total of 11 medals at world championships.

Mickel boost for GB

Kjus had led after the downhill, with Miller 2.95 seconds off his pace.

Kjus said: "The course was very twisty and it was tiring.

"Sometimes I had the feeling I was standing still. I had not really expected this after a difficult season."

Britain also toasted a good day on the slopes with Scot Finlay Mickel finishing fifth in the downhill.

The skis ran really well today and I just let them

Finlay Mickel

It was Britain's best-ever finish in the downhill part of the combined event.

Mickel eventually finished 24th after the two slalom runs but his downhill performance will give him great confidence ahead of the main downhill on Saturday.

Mickel said: "The skis ran really well today and I just let them.

"I am looking forward to a further chance to train from the higher start on Friday and to the main event on Saturday."

Combined result:

1. Bode Miller, United States, 3 minutes, 18.41 seconds.
2. Lasse Kjus, Norway, 3:18.48.
3. Kjetil-Andre Aamodt, Norway, 3:18.54.
4. Pierrick Bourgeat, France, 3:18.59.
5. Silvan Zurbriggen, Switzerland, 3:18.97.
6. Markus Larsson, Sweden, 3:19.82.
7. Didier Defago, Switzerland, 3:19.99.
8. Giorgio Rocca, Italy, 3:20.10.
9. Gaetan Llorach, France, 3:20.75.
10. Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria, 3:21.30.

The 2003 World Ski Championships from St Moritz

Race reports

Competition
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