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Conor Lyne ensures Ireland sign off from Sochi on a positive note

Mario Matt claims slalom gold as Ireland’s interest in the Winter Olympics comes to an end.
Feb 22nd 2014, 6:50 PM 4,682 7

IRELAND SIGNED OFF on a positive note in Sochi as Conor Lyne finished an encouraging 40th in the men’s slalom.

The 20-year-old finished 31 seconds behind gold medal winner Mario Matt of Austria but he will take plenty of positives from two clear runs at his debut Winter Olympics.

“It was a tough race,” he tweeted afterwards.

“Not the best skiing, but I’m glad I made it down that insane course to get 40th place in the Olympics!”

Lyne clocked times of 1:03.58 and and 1:09.71 on the treacherous track at Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre.

More than 30 competitors skiied out or failed to finish, including American hopeful Ted Ligety who won Giant Slalom gold earlier this week.

Ligety’s mistake during his second run meant that the US team came away empty-handed from the men’s slalom for the first time in 30 years.

Instead 34-year-old Matt held on to become the oldest slalom gold medallist, beating team-mate Marcel Hirscher by 0.28 seconds.

Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway won a tight race for bronze, pipping Italy’s Stefano Gross by just five-hundredths of a second in the final reckoning.

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Niall Kelly

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