Alpine skiing - American Ligety confident after strong combined finish

Alpine Skiing – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men’s Alpine Combined – Jeongseon Alpine Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 13, 2018 - Ted Ligety of the U.S. competes in the Men's Slalom part of the Men's Alpine Combined. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Two-time Olympic gold medallist American Ted Ligety missed the podium but said his fifth place finish in Tuesday's Alpine combined has given him a boost in confidence ahead of his giant slalom and super-G races at the Pyeongchang Games.

After sitting in 26th place following the downhill portion of the race where he battled headwinds, the 33-year-old tech specialist delivered a blistering slalom run in the second leg to secure fifth place, 1.45 seconds behind winner Marcel Hirscher of Austria.

"My training has been really good in both super-G and giant slalom and I feel like I'm skiing well," he said.

"So hopefully I can get another couple good days of training in and keep the ball rolling."

He said it was good to finally get the skiing underway after races were delayed for two days due to high winds.

"It's good to have a good race and to go to bed happy with my performance," said Ligety, who also won gold in giant slalom in Sochi.

"I'm just not super psyched to not end up with a medal."

Tuesday's race came one day before the 12-year anniversary of his gold medal win the combined in Turin, which he said felt like both a recent event and in distant past.

"It feels like it was both yesterday and 100 years ago," he said.

"It's pretty crazy to think that it was 12 years ago since my first Olympic event and at the same time it does feel like yesterday if I think about it."

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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