ST. ANTON, Austria (AP) — Olympic champion Sofia Goggia’s high-risk skiing was rewarded with a dominating win in a World Cup downhill on Saturday.
Goggia was fast and nearly flawless in the sunshine on the rarely raced Karl Schranz course to be 0.96 seconds faster than Tamara Tippler of Austria.
“I didn’t expect I could have won here today with this gap,” said Goggia, whose ninth career World Cup win was her sixth in the marquee discipline of downhill.
Breezy Johnson landed her third straight third-place finish in downhills this season, 1.04 back, after the American clocked the fastest speed of more than 122 kph (76 mph).
“I watched Sofia’s run and I think that it was incredible,” Johnson said. “She skied with a lot of courage.”
Goggia has finished ahead of Johnson in each downhill so far, and the Italian now has two wins and a second place to lead the season-long standings.
Switzerland’s Corinne Suter, the only downhill racer to beat Goggia this season, tied for sixth Saturday with two-time world champion Ilka Stuhec.
Goggia rose to third in the overall World Cup standings led by Petra Vlhova, whose 12th place was her best downhill result this season.
Johnson’s latest third place extended the United States team’s standout record at St. Anton.
The two previous World Cup downhills raced at the Austrian resort in the past 20 years were won by Lindsey Vonn in 2007 and Alice Mckennis in 2013.
Mikaela Shiffrin did not race Saturday as she focuses on her specialist events of slalom and giant slalom this season. The American, a three-time overall champion, should return Tuesday in the night slalom at Flachau, Austria.
The U.S. team included Laurenne Ross in her first race in almost two years. Ross placed 39th, starting soon after boyfriend Tommy Ford was airlifted to a hospital in Switzerland after crashing in the World Cup men’s giant slalom at Adelboden.
Juliana Suter of Switzerland was taken away on a stretcher after crashing through the finish line in 31st place.
Though no paying spectators were allowed at the finish during the coronavirus pandemic, there were cheers for the racers from recreational skiers on adjoining slopes.
A super-G race is scheduled Sunday.
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