MERIBEL, France — Marta Bassino beat Mikaela Shiffrin to win the women’s super-G on Wednesday and give Italy its second gold medal at the Alpine skiing world championships, with her American rival settling for silver.
Shiffrin, who won super-G gold in 2019 and bronze two years ago, led Bassino by three-tenths of a second at the second split but couldn’t match the Italian’s pace in the last part of the Roc de Fer course and finished second, 0.11 seconds behind.
Cornelia Huetter of Austria and Kajsa Vickhoff Lie of Norway both came 0.33 behind to share the bronze medal.
“I’m so happy with my run, and emotional, because I don’t really feel like I should be winning a medal in super-G right now. There are so many women so strong and so fast,” said Shiffrin. “There was one moment where I thought I lost everything but then I could keep it rolling until the finish.”
The silver is Shiffrin’s 12th medal in 15 career world championship races and came two days after the American was heading for a possible medal in the combined event before straddling the third-to-last gate in the slalom portion. Federica Brignone won that race.
“I felt like I learned from the combined that I have to be much more aggressive with my skiing and with my tactics,” said Shiffrin, who was sixth in Monday’s super-G run. “Also, this hill is difficult and it deserves respect for the terrain. You have to push the limit but if you go over the limit, it’s even worse. So I was trying to be really strong, really aggressive and just also a little bit smart.”
Shiffrin has 11 wins on the World Cup circuit this season to take her overall tally to 85 — breaking Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record of 82 and moving within one of the overall mark set by Ingemar Stenmark in the 1970s and 80s.
She said she expected Bassino to do well after seeing her shortly before the race.
“I could see her in the start, she looked in the right zone,” Shiffrin said. “I could see it she has the flow and I got like: now I have to focus on myself and stop looking at Marta.”
Bassino earned her second gold after sharing victory with Austria’s Katharina Liensberger in the parallel event at her home worlds two years ago. She became the second Italian skier to win the women’s super-G world title, after Isolde Kostner won back-to-back golds in the mid-1990s.
Bassino is yet to win a super-G on the World Cup circuit, but did finish third in two races in January.
“I’m speechless, it’s my first win in super-G, and here at the world championships, it is something I have to realize,” Bassino said. “Today I just did a great last part because I lost a lot of time in the first part. I was really suffering watching all the other girls coming down. I’m really happy and confident in myself, it’s really a great result for me.”
Many pre-race favorites, including defending and Olympic champion Lara Gut-Behrami and her Swiss teammate Corinne Suter, led Bassino by several tenths of a second before losing substantial time in the technically demanding middle section of the course, which was partly shadowed.
Bassino’s teammate Sofia Goggia, the Olympic downhill champion, finished 0.76 behind in 11th. Goggia is a favorite to make it three golds from three races for the Italian women’s team in Saturday’s downhill.
“Great, now the pressure is on me,” Goggia said. “First Fede, then Marta and, and, and let’s see.”
American racer Tricia Mangan skied through a gate and had a nasty crash which broke her right ski, but she appeared to not be seriously hurt.
Before the race, the French air force’s aerobatics squad Patrouille de France performed a demonstration of formation changes and crossovers with eight jets.
The men’s super-G at the worlds is scheduled for Thursday.
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