Switzerland's Wendy Holener takes gold as Lara Gut suffers serious crash

Ross Houston
February 12, 2017

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 defending overall World Cup champion was third after the downhill but ruptured the ACL in her left knee in practice for the slalom.

In the absence of Gut, Vonn's principal rival for gold could well be Slovenia's Ilka Stuhec, who leads the World Cup downhill standings and has won five races this season including three downhills and a super-G. She was sixth in the downhill, 0.85 of a second behind Goggia, and was off the podium by 0.47 of a second after the slalom run.

It gets no easier in Friday's medal race in St. Moritz, where Vonn has skied on a slalom course for the first time since a World Cup race last February.

The finish gave the skiing-crazed host nation its first women's world title since 2001. She was reportedly training for the afternoon slalom when she crashed and injured her left knee.

Holdener's compatriot Michelle Gisin was second, 0.05 secs back, ahead of Austria's Michaela Kirchgasser, who also took third in 2015. "I'm really proud of my performance".

"I think then the slalom race should be shortened as well because it's too big of a disadvantage", Vonn said.

Gut, who won bronze in the super-G on Tuesday, had been third after the morning downhill. "I had a pretty fantastic downhill".

"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. Stuhec quickly went out after just a few gates. She raced Friday with her pole fastened to her right hand with duct tape.

A major championship medal in combined still eludes her in six starts at the worlds and three Olympics.

It is the second serious injury of Gut's career.

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