Goggia and Johnson finish 1-2 in World Cup downhill for 3rd time

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Italy’s Sofia Goggia arrives at the finish area during a Women’s World Cup downhill ski run in Val D’Isère, France on Saturday, December 18, 2021 (AP Photo / Giovanni Maria Pizzato )

PA

Olympic champion Sofia Goggia waved seven fingers after completing a Women’s World Cup downhill on Saturday.

One for each victory in his last seven downhill starts.

Goggia extended her unbeaten run in the discipline to one year when she and American rival Breezy Johnson finished 1-2 for the third time this season.

Goggia has won all seven World Cup downhills she’s competed in since December 18, 2020. The Italian missed the last two races of last season with a knee injury.

“I’m really happy but I know I still have a lot of work to do in this discipline,” said Goggia, who became only the third skier to win at least six downhills in a single calendar year, after Annemarie Moser-Pröll achieved the feat in 1973 and 1978, and Picabo Street in 1995.

Goggia beat Johnson by 0.27 seconds, while Austrian skier Mirjam Puchner followed by 0.91 seconds in the third. The rest of the field finished more than 1.3 seconds from the lead.

The result saw Goggia overtake Mikaela Shiffrin at the top of the overall standings, edging the three-time American champion by 10 points.

Shiffrin missed the race but had to compete with Goggia in a super-G on the same hill on Sunday.

Goggia claimed his 11th career downhill victory and 15th overall with a daring brand run.

She jumped farther than any of her competitors near the phone bend in the upper section of the course, chose a riskier race line than her rivals in the technical middle section, and reacted quickly after her right ski. hit a bump to quickly regain his balance without visibly slowing down.

“I made a few mistakes, I don’t think I skied that well. But I gave all my heart, ”said Goggia, who had decided to adapt his equipment after final training on Friday. “I didn’t have the best feeling during the training run and decided to change something in my setup.

“But then, when you’re at the starting grid,” she added, “you don’t have time to think about what’s under your feet. You just have to believe in yourself to make it sound. better at skiing.

Running in a contrasting style, Johnson had a cleaner run, stayed on his running line throughout the run, and looked in total control.

It was the seventh career podium for the American, a year to the day after securing her first on the same course. Johnson has also finished in third place four times, but is yet to claim a victory.

“I feel great, I try to ski my best every day and I just try to keep improving. I feel like I’m making fewer mistakes than last year and I’m having a lot of fun, ”Johnson said.

While Goggia dominated the discipline two months before the Olympic descent from Beijing, Johnson did not stop fearing a mistake by his Italian rival.

“She’s skiing phenomenally right now, so hats off to her,” Johnson said of the Italian. “But she knows she has to ski her best every day. If she does something stupid or doesn’t ski perfectly, or if we find a hill where her skis don’t work perfectly or something isn’t as perfect, I hope I can be there to take her.

Several riders took faster starts than Goggia, but no one matched the pace of the Italian on the most demanding sections of the OK course, which is named after great French skiers Henri Oreiller and Jean-Claude Killy.

Former World Cup downhill champion Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia led by four-tenths of a second and world championship gold medalist Corinne Suter was more than three-tenths faster than Goggia in second split, but all two lost considerable time thereafter, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. .

Suter’s Swiss teammate Lara Gut-Behrami missed the race after testing positive for COVID-19 after the first training race on Thursday, ruling out the 2016 overall champion for the weekend as well as two giant slaloms in Courchevel, nearby, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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