Sochi World Cup downhill called off, poor snow surface |

Sochi World Cup downhill called off, poor snow surface

Mikaela Shiffrin, center, winner of an alpine ski World Cup women's parallel slalom city event celebrates on the podium with second-place finisher Christina Geiger of Germany, left, and third-place finisher Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden, in Hammarbybacken, Stockholm, Sweden on Feb. 19.
Christine Olsson / AP | TT NEWS AGENCY

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The second-to-last women’s downhill of the World Cup season has been canceled in Russia after poor course conditions meant a mandatory training session was canceled for three straight days.

Downhill’s high speeds mean athletes can’t be expected to race on a course without having trained on it.

“The course was set on the slope Friday morning before heavy snowfall once again settled in for the day,” the International Ski Federation said. Heavy snow continued in the afternoon.

FIS said the Saturday morning race slot at the Rosa Khutor venue will go to a super-G, which was scheduled for Sunday.

A second super-G will be raced on Sunday, using the vacant day to reschedule a race canceled in January at St. Anton, Austria.

“Race organizers, course crew and officials are doing everything in their power to battle the unfortunate weather conditions and hold races in Rosa Khutor where the weather is expected to clear up by Sunday,” FIS said.

The course is staging its first top-level Alpine ski races since the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

This weekend, American star Mikaela Shiffrin will be mathematically confirmed as the winner of her third straight World Cup overall title.

Shiffrin leads the standings by more than 700 points from her main rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia. With 100 points awarded for a win, only six races will remain when the circuit leaves Russia.

Shiffrin’s title is already a formality as she and Vlhova, who are technical race specialists, are skipping the speed races this weekend.

All other skiers trail at least 900 points behind Shiffrin, who has a career-best 14 World Cup wins this season.

AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed to this report.

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