Switzerland's Wendy Holdener wins combined event at world championships
- Author: Julie Sanders Feb 12, 2017,
Feb 12, 2017, 4:01
Lindsey Vonn's long-hyped downhill duel against Lara Gut for the title of this season's speed queen was slated to be one of the highlights of the world championships in St Moritz.
The extent of Gut's suspected left knee injury was not yet known but her participation in the alpine combined slalom seemed highly unlikely. Stuhec won the only World Cup combined raced this season, plus three downhills.
She was airlifted to hospital and will miss the rest of the campaign.
The finish gave the skiing-crazed host nation its first women's world title since 2001. At the 2009 worlds and 2010 Olympics, she led the morning downhill but could not sustain her lead in the afternoon slalom.
Holdener finished 0.05 ahead of teammate Michelle Gisin, who took silver. "I'm really proud of my performance".
She plans to attach the ski pole to her right glove and avoid the handling issues - an ongoing issue from breaking her right upper arm in November - which led to an early exit in super-G on Tuesday.
"Downhill trainings were definitely better concerning how I felt on the skis".
"It was interesting", Vonn said Thursday of her preparation.
"I hope this isn't as bad as they're thinking", wrote Shiffrin, who has trained away from the spotlight so far at the two-week worlds.
Holdener, who is third in the World Cup slalom standings behind Mikaela Shiffrin, was 0.94 off the lead in downhill.
Stuhec was 0.53 seconds quicker than Fabienne Suter of Switzerland, and perhaps will start as the favourite on Friday.
She also lost the chance to fight for another giant crystal trophy awarded to the world's best all-around skier.
Holdener could only manage 1:17.84 in the downhill, leaving her 0.37s behind Gisin ahead of the slalom, but she put in the second fastest time down the slope to take a narrow victory.