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Jakobsen leads 1st run of night slalom at Schladming

Sweden’s Kristoffer Jakobsen held a commanding lead following the first run of the World Cup circuit’s most prestigious slalom on Tuesday in the final men’s race before the Beijing Olympics.

Racing under the lights — but with limited fans due to coronavirus precautions — Jakobsen stood 0.58 seconds ahead of Giuliano Razzoli, the 2010 Olympic champion from Italy who is having a late-career renaissance.

Lucas Braathen of Norway and Clement Noel of France were tied for third on the steep Planai course, 0.67 behind.

Sweden's Kristoffer Jakobsen speeds down the course during the first run of an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP PhotoMarco Trovati)

Jakobsen is aiming for his first victory after two podium results in slalom this season — second in Val d’Isère, France, and third in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

It’s shaping up as a big day for Sweden's team after Sara Hector won a World Cup giant slalom earlier at Kronplatz in Italy.

The five previous slaloms this season have had five different winners.

Italy's Giuliano Razzoli speeds down the course during the first run of an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP PhotoGiovanni Auletta)

Johannes Strolz, the Austrian who claimed his first career win at Adelboden, Switzerland, this month, was only 0.07 behind Jakobsen at the second checkpoint before he lost control and fell midway down.

Alexis Pinturault, the defending overall World Cup champion, also went out midway down.

At age 37, Razzoli became the oldest skier to finish on a World Cup slalom podium when he placed third in Wengen, Switzerland, this month.

Norway's Lucas Braathen speeds down the course during the first run of an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP PhotoGiovanni Auletta)

Dave Ryding stood 15th, 1.40 behind, three days after he won in Kitzbühel to become the first British winner in the 55-year history of the World Cup.

The Beijing Games open Feb. 4 and the slalom on Feb. 16 is the last individual event for men.

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France's Alexis Pinturault reacts after skiing off the track during the first run of an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP PhotoGiovanni Auletta)