Svindal covered the course in 1 minute, 38.35 seconds, just 12/100ths of a second ahead of Janko.
Patrick Staudacher of Italy came in third at 1:38.52. Mario Scheiber of Italy placed fourth, followed by American Bode Miller.
"The early start numbers were bad because the light was bad," observed Miller. "Then the light gets better as the race goes on. Unfortunately I started pretty early, which was tough."
The event continues Saturday with the downhill, which Miller predicted again would hinge on the quality of the daylight.