Alpine stars ‘fight for it’ before season finale in Aspen
JEONGSEON, South Korea — Sofia Goggia edged Lindsey Vonn into second place at a World Cup event for the second time in two days, winning the super-G at the 2018 Olympic course on Sunday, March 5, to follow her victory in the downhill.
Goggia of Italy finished 0.04 seconds ahead of Vonn in the super-G, 24 hours after beating the 32-year-old American by 0.07 in the downhill to capture her career first World Cup win.
Prior to this weekend, which is also serving as a test event for the Jeongseon Alpine Centre ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, Goggia had nine podium finishes without taking center-spot.
“I really like the course,” Goggia said. “I tried to push as hard as I could … this win means a lot to me.”
Vonn, who is still progressing on her comeback after breaking her arm last November, has not won a super-G at a World Cup event since January last year.
“Of course, I am disappointed to be a few hundredths from two wins but I always feel like in skiing, the luck will come back to you,” Vonn said. “I am hoping that next year, that luck can come back and I can be on the top podium.”
Vonn is looking forward to returning to the course, located around 214 kilometers (133 miles) east of Seoul, next February for the Olympics.
“The main point of this weekend is that I am confident on this hill,” she said. “I really like it. I know what I can do to be faster.”
Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia had to settle for third place, on consecutive days, finishing 0.53 seconds behind Goggia in the super-G on the 1.99-kilometer (1 1/4 mile) course.
Stuhec moves to first place in the season standings ahead of Tina Weirather of Leichenstein, who placed ninth here on Sunday, to lead the race for the Super-G crystal globe with a round remaining. Goggia moved to the fifth spot.
Stuhec also leads the season downhill standings ahead of the last event in Aspen later this month.
“I know the chances are good for me now but we still have one more race to go in each event,” Stuhec said. “I also have to fight for it and just do my best.”
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia — Overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher wrapped up his fourth slalom title Sunday with Austrian compatriot Michael Matt winning the penultimate race of the season.
Hirscher’s fourth-place finish, 0.80 seconds behind Matt, was enough for the 28-year-old to take his third globe of the weekend after his only rival, Henrik Kristoffersen, made a huge mistake and failed to qualify for the second run.
Hirscher had an insurmountable 110-point lead over the Norwegian ahead of the World Cup finals in Aspen, Colorado, this month.
Hirscher locked up an unprecedented sixth straight overall World Cup title with five races to spare on Saturday, when he also won the giant slalom globe with his 44th career win.
“I try my best like everyone else. The last years have been going well for me,” Hirscher said. “Two little globes, one big globe — that’s really great.”
Stefano Gross was leading after Sunday’s first run, but the Italian had to settle for second with Matt edging him by 0.30 seconds after two runs for his first World Cup win.
Germany’s Felix Neureuther was third, 0.46 back, ahead of Hirscher, who did enough to match Alberto Tomba’s tally of four titles. Only Ingemar Stenmark, with eight, has more.
Hirscher is only the fifth male skier to reach 14 globes after Stenmark (19), Pirmin Zurbriggen (16), Marc Girardelli (15) and Hermann Maier (14).
Despite finishing ahead of Hirscher on the day, Neureuther could only marvel at the Austrian’s achievements.
“Unbelievable. All the successes speak for themselves. What he does, you’ll only have it once in the history of ski-sport,” said Neureuther. “It’s my bad luck to be born at a time when Marcel Hirscher skis.”
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