Stuhec takes super-G, moves closer to Shiffrin
Suddenly the overall title is not looking so certain for Mikaela Shiffrin after Ilka Stuhec won a super-G race Saturday.
There was also a worrying crash for Lindsey Vonn on a disappointing day for American skiers.
Entering this weekend’s races in Crans Montana, Switzerland, Shiffrin held more than a 400point lead in the standings over her next active challenger, Sofia Goggia of Italy. Defending overall champion Lara Gut, in second place, is out for the rest of the season after injuring her knee while training between runs of the combined event at the world championships in St. Moritz two weeks ago.
However, Stuhec was second in Friday’s Alpine combined race to leapfrog Goggia into third place overall. The Slovenian went one better Saturday to cut Shiffrin’s lead to 258 points with nine races remaining — including another combined Sunday.
Stuhec, the recently crowned downhill world champion, leads the downhill standings and moved to within 16 points of Tina Weirather in the super-G.
Stuhec, who was fastest in the super-G part of the combined Friday, finished 0.5 seconds ahead of Elena Curtoni as the Italian achieved a best ever finish in a World Cup race. Stephanie Venier of Austria was third.
Shiffrin finished 13th, more than two seconds behind Stuhec.
Vonn crashed in the super-G and later pulled out of Sunday’s combined. The former Olympic champion also withdrew from another combined race Friday, along with Shiffrin and their American teammate Laurenne Ross, because of dangerous conditions on the course.
In men’s skiing in Kvitfjell, Norway, Kjetil Jansrud took a key step toward the downhill World Cup title.
Jansrud beat his closest title rival, defending downhill champion Peter Fill of Italy, by 0.08 seconds to extend his downhill standings lead to 33 points with one race remaining.
Beat Feuz of Switzerland was third, 0.14 off Jansrud’s time.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Marit Bjoergen won a record 15th world championship gold medal in cross-country skiing with a victory in a 15-kilometer skiathlon in Lahti, Finland.
The Norwegian broke away with Finland’s Krista Parmakoski before dominating the final sprint to win by 4.8 seconds. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden was third, 32 seconds behind Bjoergen.
The 36-year-old Bjoergen has more gold medals than any other cross-country skier — male or female — in world championship history, having previously shared the record of 14 gold medals with retired Russian Yelena Valbe.
LUGE: Roman Repilov of Russia defeated defending champion Felix Loch in the final luge World Cup of the season in Altenberg, Germany, to claim his first overall title.
The 20-year-old Repilov was quickest in both runs for a combined time of 1:47.237. He beat Germany’s Loch — who had been chasing his sixth straight title — by 0.461 seconds.
FIGURE SKATING: Choi Da-bin of South Korea held her lead from the short program to win the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan.
Choi landed all her jumps cleanly with the exception of a triple Salchow she under-rotated. First after the short program, Choi received a total of 187.54 points.
Li Zijun of China was second with 175.60 points followed by Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan with 175.04.
Earlier, North Korea won its first medal of the games as Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik won the bronze medal in the figure skating pairs event.
Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao of China were first with 223.88, followed by compatriots Peng Cheng and Jin Yang with 197.06.
The Japanese government decided to allow North Korean athletes and officials to enter the country to take part despite Japan’s entry ban on North Korean citizens.