Berliner Boersenzeitung - Swiss Gut-Behrami wins women's Olympic super-G, Shiffrin 9th

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Swiss Gut-Behrami wins women's Olympic super-G, Shiffrin 9th
Swiss Gut-Behrami wins women's Olympic super-G, Shiffrin 9th

Swiss Gut-Behrami wins women's Olympic super-G, Shiffrin 9th

Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami added Olympic super-G gold to her world title at the Beijing Games on Friday as American Mikaela Shiffrin finished ninth after flunking her first two events.

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Gut-Behrami, who has already won giant slalom bronze at these Games, timed 1min 13.51sec for the victory.

Austrian Mirjam Puchner took silver 0.22sec behind while another Swiss, 2018 Olympic combined gold medallist Michelle Gisin, claimed bronze.

Shiffrin, a double gold medallist in previous Games, struggled between the first two intermediaries and eventually came racing through the finish line 0.79sec off winner Gut-Behrami's pace.

It was the first Shiffrin had finished a race at these Games after she produced two unusual mistakes in the slalom and giant slalom this week, skiing out early in both events.

Reigning super-G champion Ester Ledecka, the cross-code star who successfully defended her snowboard parallel giant slalom title at these Games on Tuesday, came in fifth, just behind Austrian Tamara Tippler.

- Unfamiliar course -

The 30-year-old Gut-Behrami laid down a superb top section which saw the racers quickly accelerate to 100 kilometres per hour (60 miles per hour) within eight seconds and move straight into a testing series of jumps swinging into blind gates.

It was the first time the women had experienced the "Rock" piste as two World Cup races on the hill were cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions in China.

And it showed as many struggled with the upper section before cascading into the canyon snaking down the rest of the the 1.9kilometre course, man-made with artificial snow in Yanqing.

Ledecka became the first woman to win a gold medal in two different sports at a Winter Olympics when she took skiing and snowboarding titles in Pyeongchang four years ago.

After her snowboard success in Beijing, the 26-year-old Czech was aiming for an ambitious double-double but it proved too much for her.

"This morning I was trying to convince myself that I’m a skier! It's not that easy," said Ledecka.

"It wasn’t the fastest run but it was my run and I was doing my best."

Shiffrin, who won super-G won gold at the 2019 world championships, will have been relieved to have at least completed a race at these Olympics.

Her double failure in her opening races was the first time that had happened to her since 2011, when she was 16 and in her inaugural World Cup season.

She had tearfully vowed to re-focus on the super-G but struggled between the first two intermediaries, losing time.

Ledecka said Shiffrin had "no choice" but to get back on to her skis.

"She’s one of the greatest skiers of all time and it doesn’t really matter if she’s going to DNF (did not finish) in two races, it doesn’t change anything for me," she said.

"I’m very happy I’m riding with her and that I can ski with, compete with her, it’s a great honour."

While Italy's reigning Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia sat out the race after failing to recover from a knee injury she sustained in a crash in Cortina last month, her teammates failed to trouble the medal places.

(B.Hartmann--BBZ)