Goggia dominates downhill in Lake Louise
Defending crystal globe winner and 2018 Olympic gold medallist Sofia Goggia of Italy was imperious at the year's first women's downhill event of the FIS Alpine World Cup in Lake Louise, Canada, setting a marker early and finishing atop the podium ahead of American Breezy Johnson and Mirjam Puchner of Austria.
Sofia Goggia, last year’s defending overall alpine ski champion, put in a statement run early in the action at the first women’s downhill FIS World Cup event of the year from Lake Louise on Friday (3 December).
The win, in a rocket-quick time of 1:46.95, nearly a second and a half faster than the chasing field, saw Goggia become the first Italian woman to win a downhill World Cup event at the Lake Louise resort for almost a decade and a half.
“I had a great analysis after my training run and I'm so happy that I was able to win the way I did today. I'm so pleased with it,” said the PyeongChang 2018 downhill gold-medal winner after her victory, the ninth World Cup win of her career and one that sees her set a definitive marker in this Olympic year with just under 60 days to go to the start of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
“The way you attack the slope is what matters most," added the Italian, who will race the downhill again tomorrow in Lake Louise. "I knew I could win, but I didn't really think I would win by a second and a half. I think I can ski even better, but the way I approached the slope today was very good.”
American Breezy Johnson secured the second-place spot on the podium with a time of 1:48.42. The 25-year-old Wyoming native who took part in the PyeongChang 2018 games is gaining speed and confidence following a pair of knee injuries sustained in late 2018 and 2019 that saw her miss the whole of the 2019 World Cup season.
Third place in Lake Louise was secured by Austria's Mirjam Puchner, who pulled a time of 1:48.49 to earn the third World Cup podium finish of her career.
Mikaella Shiffrin, skiing in her first downhill in two years, finished 26th out of 52 racers. The American two-time Olympic gold-medallist, who’s suffered from serious back injuries in recent years, put in a smooth run but lacked the speed she needed as she builds toward an Olympic return in Beijing early next year.
The women’s downhill World Cup races of the 2021/22 FIS World Cup continue on Saturday (4 December) with another event, also in Canada at the Lake Louise venue.