Goggia, Vonn and Stuhec return to podium in Jeongseon
Conditions on Sunday for the women’s World Cup super-G at Jeongseon, South Korea, stood in contrast to the sunny Saturday downhill. Flat light due to high cloud cover challenged the best athletes in the world as they continued to learn the intricacies of the terrain at the new venue, which will play host to the men’s and women’s speed events during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Italian standout Sofia Goggia seems to have figured out the slope, winning her second race in as many days and earning the 11th World Cup podium of her career. Once again, living legend Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. was in second, and Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was in third, making this an exact repeat of the podium in Saturday’s downhill.
Stuhec took an early 0.75 second lead, coming down with bib 5. The Slovenian understood that she had to keep a steady, high line down the course to maintain her speed–something many athletes struggled with in part due to the rolling terrain. After Stuhec’s run, it took 12 athletes before she was challenged by Goggia, who came down with a final time of 1:20.35, 0.51 seconds ahead of the Slovenian. Vonn came down just two people later with bib 19, sliding into second place with only 0.04 seconds between her and the victory.
Super-G has been a tricky event for Goggia this season. She has only finished three of the six races, but when she has finished, the results were in the top 3.
“It feels amazing because super-G this year was pretty difficult to me,” the Italian shared. “I never found the right balance between pushing and to use the tactics and today, I really tried to ski.”
For Vonn, the result is something of a breakthrough. The American has not been on a World Cup super-G podium since Feb. 2016, just before she was sidelined with her tibial plateau injury. On the other hand, Vonn is hungry for more wins and frustrated with missing the victory by such a slim margin.
“I’m really happy,” Vonn said. “It’s definitely the best super-G performance I’ve had all season by a long shot, so it’s nice to see that I still have the speed and it’s coming back around. Definitely frustrated with the amount of time that I’m getting second place by, but you know, if I’ve learned one thing in ski racing, it’s that those hundredths always come back and I’m hoping that they come back next year for the Olympics, so I’ll bide my time. I’ll be patient, and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.”
Half a second off the leader, Stuhec added another podium to her collection with her third-place result. All of Stuhec’s 11 career podium results are from this season. Coming into the day, Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather was the leader in the super-G standings, only 16 points ahead of her closest threat, Stuhec. At the end of the race, Weirather was in ninth place, giving up her lead to Stuhec, as the ladies head into their final super-G in Aspen, Colo. The Slovenian has 350 points while Weirather has 335.
Stuhec has already secured the alpine combined globe and has a chance to win the downhill, super-G and overall globes in the coming weeks. However, she’s not focused or nervous about her potential to earn more season titles.
“No, the only nerves getting to Aspen I have is the sixteen hours time difference that we have from here to there, so that’s the only thing,” she said. “Otherwise, I’ll go like always, race for race, and do my best.”
In the final regular season speed races, the U.S. Ski Team’s Laurenne Ross had another strong performance, coming in sixth place. It was a tough race for the rest of the American squad. Alice McKennis, Jacqueline Wiles and Stacey Cook finished the day in 32nd, 34th and 35th, respectively. Anna Marno finished in 39th and Breezy Johnson finished in 42nd.
In the hunt for the overall title, American Mikaela Shiffrin still holds the lead with 1323 points and four technical races left this season in addition to a super-G and downhill. Stuhec has closed the gap slightly in South Korea, decreasing Shiffrin’s lead to 178 points. Goggia, who sits in fourth in the standings behind injured skier Lara Gut of Switzerland, is not all that far away from the lead with 1021 total points.
The women now complete a round-the-world trip and head to Squaw Valley, Calif. for the giant slalom and slalom races on March 9-10 before World Cup Finals in Aspen.
- Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Lindsey Vonn (USA) – Head / Head / Head
- Ilka Stuhec (SLO) – Stoeckli / Lange /Atomic
- Federica Brignone (ITA) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
- Jasmine Flury (SUI) – Stoeckli / Lange / Marker
- Laurenne Ross (USA) – Volkl / Marker / Dalbello
- Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) – Stoeckli / Lange / Marker
- Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
- Tina Weirather (LIE) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Elena Curtoni (ITA) – Head / Head / Head
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|29||21||426043||TVIBERG Maria Therese||1994||NOR||1:22.92||+2.57||34.54||2.00|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|