Shiffrin settles for silver in super-G at worlds
Marta Bassino beat Mikaela Shiffrin to win the Women’s Super G on Wednesday to give Italy a second gold medal at the Alpine Skiing World Championships, while her US rival settled for silver.
Shiffrin was three tenths of a second ahead of Bassino in the second split, but could not match the Italian’s speed in the latter part of the Roque de Fer and finished second, 0.11 seconds back.
Cornelia Hütter of Austria and Kaisa Wickhoff Lee of Norway were 0.33 seconds behind to share the bronze medal.
“I’m so happy with my running and emotions because I really don’t feel like I should be winning a super-G medal right now. There are so many women who are so strong and so fast,” Shiffrin said. “There was a moment when I thought I had lost everything, but then I could carry on until the very end.”
Shiffrin woke up Wednesday to the news that LeBron James had broken an NBA career scoring record, and the American skier took inspiration from that achievement.
“I was like, ‘Wow, that’s cool for him.’ However, I wasn’t sure if it was a dream, so it’s nice to know it’s true,” Shiffrin said. “This is yet another example of the incredible achievements in sports that will continue to motivate future generations to try to push boundaries, break records and continue to elevate the sport, be it skiing, basketball or whatever. This symbolizes the concept that we continue to work harder and try to work better.”
The silver is Shiffrin’s 12th medal in 15 career World Championship races, placing her second on the all-time list of most medals won by women at the next biggest sporting event since the Olympics, behind only German skier Krystle. Krantz, who won 15 in the 1930s. Shiffrin also now has medals in every color in the super-G at the world championships.
Her second place came two days after the American was heading for an eventual medal in the combined standings, before passing the penultimate slalom gate. Federica Brignone won this race.
“I felt like I learned from the combinations that I needed to be much more aggressive in skiing and tactics,” said Shiffrin, who placed sixth in the Super G on Monday. “Besides, this hill is challenging and deserves respect for the terrain. You have to push the limits, but if you go over the limit, that’s even worse. So I tried to be very strong, very aggressive and just a little bit smart.”
Shiffrin has 11 World Cup victories this season, bringing her total to 85, breaking Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record of 82 and close to one set by Ingemar Stenmark in the 1970s and 80s.
She said she expected Bassino to do well after seeing her shortly before the race.
“I could see her at the beginning, she looked in the right zone,” Shiffrin said. “I saw it, she has flow, and I thought: now I have to focus on myself and stop looking at Martha.”
Bassino earned her second gold medal at the World Championships after sharing the victory with Austrian skier Katarina Linsberger two years ago in a parallel event at her home World Championships. She became the second Italian skier to win the women’s super-G world title after Isolde Kostner won back-to-back gold in the mid-1990s.
Bassino has yet to win a super-G on the World Cup circuit, but finished third in two races in January.
“I was speechless. This is my first Super G win and here at the World Championships I have to realize that,” Bassino said. “Today I just did a great last part because I lost a lot of time in the first part. I really suffered watching all the other girls go downstairs. I am really happy and confident. This is really a great result for me. .”
In the super-G, Bassino showed that she feels confident on the roughness of the Roc de Fer. She retired due to a mistake, but before that she was among the fastest.
“I had it all in my head,” Bassino said. “I’m really happy. Gold in parallel two years ago was nice, but today it’s something more, something more. It’s incredible. I am very pleased with myself and at the same time amazed that I had such a good race. “
Many pre-race favorites, including reigning and Olympian Lara Gut-Behrami and her Swiss teammate Corinne Suter, edged out Bassino by a few tenths of a second before losing significant time in a technically difficult middle section of the track that was partially shaded.
Bassino’s teammate Sofia Goggia, Olympic downhill champion, finished 0.76 seconds back in 11th place. Goggia is the favorite to win three golds in three races for the Italian women’s team in Saturday’s downhill.
“Great, now I’m under pressure,” Goja said. “First Fede, then Marta and, and, and we’ll see.”
American racing driver Trisha Mangan skied through the gate and was involved in a nasty accident that broke her right ski, but she did not appear to be seriously injured.
The men’s super giant is scheduled for Thursday.
Shiffrin has more than a week left before the finals of the giant slalom and slalom. She’ll likely head to neighboring Italy for two or three days of training, and also watch her boyfriend, Norwegian skier Alexander Aamodt Kilde, handle the super-G and Sunday men’s downhill. He will have a chance to win both as he headlined Wednesday’s first downhill practice.
“It’s very crowded here,” said Patrick Riml, director of the US Alpine Ski Team. “We want to make sure we have a nice, quiet, calm environment where she can focus on training and then have a good return to slalom and giant slalom.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.