01/24 04:58 CST Shiffrin masters World Cup downhill for 1st win in 2020
Shiffrin masters World Cup downhill for 1st win in 2020
BANSKO, Bulgaria (AP) --- Mikaela Shiffrin mastered a tricky course to win a
women's World Cup downhill Friday for her fifth victory of the season and first
The three-time overall champion from the United States was one third of a
second off the lead at her second split but remained flawless on the rest of
the technically demanding Marc Girardelli course.
Shiffrin beat Federica Brignone of Italy by 0.18 seconds, with Joana Haehlen of
Switzerland five hundredths further back in third.
It was Shiffrin's second career win in downhill, more than two years after her
maiden triumph in the sport's fastest discipline in Lake Louise, Alberta.
Friday's result ended a series of five races without win for Shiffrin,
including two in the American's strongest discipline, slalom.
Brignone and Petra Vlhova of Slovakia had been steadily closing the gap in the
overall standings, but Shiffrin has now extended her advantage again to 280
points over the Italian and 309 over Vlhova, who finished the race in sixth.
Brignone got to the podium for the sixth time this season, while Haehlen earned
the first top-three result of her career.
The Swiss skier finished second in a downhill in Crans-Montana last season but
was later relegated to fourth place after FIS corrected the results following
faulty finish-line timing.
Haehlen had no previous top-15 result this season but posted the fastest time
in the only training run Thursday.
Shiffrin wore start bib No. 16, enabling her to witness early starters struggle
as several bumps were hard to spot on the shadowy course.
Thursday's training had been delayed by hours and ultimately took part under
different light conditions.
Sofia Goggia of Italy, Tamara Tippler of Austria and Alice McKennis of the
United States were among the racers thrown off the course after losing balance
on a bump, but all three seemed unhurt.
Nina Ortlieb of Austria, daughter of 1992 Olympic downhill champion Patrick
Ortlieb, was 0.25 seconds faster than Shiffrin at the third split before
missing a gate.
The race replaced the downhill that was canceled in Val d'Isere, France, in
December. Another downhill is scheduled for Saturday, followed by a super-G the
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports