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Olympic Alpine Skiing

Mayer leads 2nd downhill training; Svindal 3rd

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Austrian skier Matthias Mayer has emerged as a possible contender for a medal.

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) Quickly turning into an unexpected medal contender, Matthias Mayer of Austria led the second downhill training session Friday on the Olympic course.

The 23-year-old Mayer clocked 2 minutes, 6.51 seconds, slightly quicker than Bode Miller's leading time from a day earlier, as the course was harder and a bit faster.

While Mayer has never finished better than fifth in a World Cup downhill, he was third in Thursday's training.

Former overall World Cup winner Carlo Janka of Switzerland was second, 0.27 seconds behind, but he missed a gate. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was third, 0.55 behind, with Miller sixth, 0.64 behind.

Conditions were again perfect.

A third and final training session is scheduled for Saturday, with the race Sunday opening the medal events for Alpine skiing.