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Goggia claim Cortina downhill with Winter Games looming

By AFP
January 23, 2022

ITALY, Cortina d’Ampezzo: Sofia Goggia won the Alpine Skiing World Cup downhill at Cortina d’Ampezzo on Saturday to showcase her dominance in the discipline ahead of her Olympic title defence.

Italian Goggia, who is also defending World Cup downhill champion, bounced back from her crash at Zauchensee last weekend to take the honours on home snow with a time of one minute, 6.98 seconds, 0.20sec ahead of Austria’s Ramona Siebenhofer.

Czech Ester Ledecka completed the podium, a further 0.06sec back.

“It’s been a difficult week. I was doing physical therapy from seven in the morning until seven in the evening, I couldn’t walk,” an emotional Goggia told RAI.

“When I saw that I was first my heart exploded... It’s one of the best wins of my career.”

Goggia, who has now won four of this season’s five downhill races, took the lead with her run at seventh in the schedule, overtaking and staying ahead of early leader Siebenhofer despite a run which was far from textbook.

The 29-year-old threw herself down a piste shortened due to windy conditions in the Dolomites in a wild, at times raggedy effort which nonetheless gives her a significant lead at the top of the downhill standings.

“It was an incredible run, I was hit by a lot of wind, I didn’t know where to put my feet,” said Goggia.

“I was hit by some incredible lateral gusts, and with the way I skied today to see the green light for first place at the line was fantastic.”

She has 400 points, 136 more than Siebenhofer, who jumps above Breezy Johnson after the American was forced to sit out the race following a training run fall.

Goggia sits third in the overall standings on 769 points, although she is way behind leader Mikaela Shiffrin and defending champion Petra Vlhova, neither of whom took part in Saturday’s run who both have over 900 points.

There is one more downhill race this women’s World Cup season — at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany — before the top skiers decamp to China for the Winter Olympics which starts on February 4.

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