GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN – Cornelia Huetter and Federica Brignone tied for first place in a World Cup super-G on Sunday, in the final race before the Beijing Olympics.
Brignone looked certain to secure a third super-G win of the season after a dominant performance from start to finish on the Kandahar course but the Italian was in for an anxious wait as Huetter — who had been 0.18 seconds slower at the second checkpoint — made up time in the second half of the course.
Brignone could only smile and shake her head in disbelief — and maybe some relief — as Huetter crossed the line in exactly the same time of 1:18.19.
“When I crossed the line I realised it was a good run, then I was a bit scared with Huetter but it’s nice to be on the top of the podium together. I’m really happy for her too,” Brignone said.
It was a 19th World Cup win for Brignone but only a third for Huetter, whose last victory was a downhill in Lake Louise, Canada, in December 2017.
“Yeah it’s really nice. It was a bit weird to cross the finish line and I saw the green light and I saw 0.00,” Huetter said.
“I was really happy to share it with Fede, her skiing was really good and it’s nice to share it with her and I’m super happy for the day.”
Huetter’s Austrian teammate, Tamara Tippler was third fastest, 0.82 behind the duo.
With the start of the Winter Olympics looming, several top contenders skipped the races in Garmisch, including overall rivals Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova, and world super-G champion Lara Gut-Behrami.
Sofia Goggia, who won two super-G races this season, was injured during a World Cup super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo last week. The Italian has started physical rehab with the aim of returning in time for the Olympic downhill on Feb. 15. but will likely miss the giant slalom on Feb. 7 and the super-G on Feb. 11.
That makes her teammate Brignone one of the favorites for gold in what will likely be her last shot at Olympic glory. Brignone won bronze in the giant slalom four years ago.
“I would like to take this confidence with me to there. I hope to find the same feeling with the skis, with everything,” the 31-year-old Brignone said.
“And try just to enjoy, enjoy the moment. I think it’s going to be my last Olympics Games and I will try to give my everything to my nation and for myself and for everyone who works with me.”
Out of the top 10 skiers in the overall standings, only Brignone, Corinne Suter and Elena Curtoni raced.
With the win, Brignone extended her lead at the top of the super-G standings, which Italy dominates. Brignone has a 103-point lead over Curtoni and is 145 ahead of Goggia.
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