Sofia Goggia charged to victory in Friday’s World Cup downhill at Cortina d’Ampezzo to deny record-seeking Mikaela Shiffrin and increase her lead at the top of the discipline standings.
Italian Goggia clocked a time of one minute and 33.47 seconds, 0.13sec ahead of Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, enough to take her to 480 points in the downhill ranking and 208 ahead of Stuhec.
The 30-year-old has now won four of the five downhill races contested so far this season despite breaking two fingers when finishing second in Saint Moritz last month.
“What makes the difference is that you go to the gate and what your emotional state is when you get there,” said Goggia.
“Today I felt good, but my descent wasn’t impeccable.”
Shiffrin finished 0.50sec behind Goggia in fourth, meaning she will have to wait at least another day for an 83rd World Cup win which would take her past now-retired Lindsey Vonn as the female skier with most wins on the elite alpine skiing circuit.
The American will have two more chances to break compatriot Vonn’s record this weekend with another downhill in Cortina on Saturday before Sunday’s super-G.
Shiffrin did increase her lead on Petra Vlhova at the top of the overall standings to 449 points as her Slovakian rival did not take part in Friday’s race.
“I felt so good the whole run… it was just so good to ski, I’m really happy with it,” said Shiffrin.
“Now we have another chance tomorrow so there’s not too much that I want to fix actually… so I’m really happy I could take this lead and tomorrow just try to basically do the same thing again.
“It could be faster again but now I know that I can do it so it’s really exciting to go again.”
Olympic downhill champion Corinne Suter dropped back to fourth in the downhill standings after flying off the track in what appeared initially to be an awful crash.
However the Swiss was soon back on her feet to the relief of the crowd and her competitors including rival Goggia, who were seen turning away in horror.
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