By The Associated Press on January 12, 2024.
ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (AP) – Cornelia Huetter gave Austria its first win of the season on the women’s World Cup circuit with a narrow super-G victory on home snow Friday.
The normally powerful Austrian women have struggled this campaign but Huetter finally delivered a victory in the 17th race after previously getting the team’s only runner-up finish, also in a super-G.
Her perfect skiing through the final section helped her beat runner-up Kajsa Vickhoff Lie by 0.09 seconds. Lara Gut-Behrami was third, trailing Huetter by 0.21.
Valérie Grenier, of St. Isidore, Ont., was the top Canadian in 11th place.
American star Mikaela Shiffrin is skipping the three speed races at Altenmarkt this weekend. Shiffrin, who leads the overall World Cup standings and took silver in super-G at the world championships last season, said on social media she wants to recover fully from a cold and train for an intense race schedule through January.
Shiffrin’s lead atop the overall standings was cut to 182 points by Federica Brignone, who finished fourth, 0.32 behind Huetter.
Huetter’s three closest challengers all had a faster intermediate time approaching the final section then lost at least 0.33 to the Austrian winner.
The result was unofficial because low-ranked racers were yet to start.
Austria’s previous best result in a women’s race this season was Huetter’s second place in a super-G last month at St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The winner at St. Moritz, Sofia Goggia, crashed Friday after never looking entirely at ease. She quickly got up and skied down to the finish.
Goggia is a likely favorite for the downhill Saturday at what is now a three-race meeting at Altenmarkt. Friday’s race replaced a second super-G at St. Moritz that was canceled because of the weather.
A more serious crash saw Nadine Fest, the Austrian former world junior champion in super-G, seem to injure her left knee and shin. She was airlifted from the course by helicopter.
The race was run on a sunny and still day at the Austrian resort with the temperature at minus-5 C (23 F).
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