Women's downhill at Beijing 2022 Olympics: Preview, schedule & stars to watch

The things you need to know about one of the most anticipated races in the alpine skiing programme at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

By Alessandro Poggi
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

The downhill is considered the 'king event' in the alpine skiing programme and the women's race will be one of the most anticipated competitions at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday (15 February) at 11:00 local time (04:00am CET, 19:00 PST on Monday) and takes place on the Rock course at the Yanqing National Skiing Centre, located at around 100km North of the Chinese capital.

The track used by the women features a lower start and is around 400m shorter (2,704m vs. 3,152m) than the men's course.

Switzerland's Priska Nufer and Joana Haehlen were the fastest in the two training runs held the day before the event after a snowfall caused the cancellation of the practice on Sunday.

36 racers have entered the race and 17 nations will be represented. Each team can have a maximum of four competitors.

Defending champion Sofia Goggia will try to become on the second athlete after German Katja Seizinger (1994-1998) to retain an Olympic title in downhill.

At PyeongChang 2018 the Italian became the first skier from her country to win the event since 1952 (Zeno Colò).

Goggia suffered a crash in Cortina on 23 January and had a race against the clock to compete at her second Winter Games.

Since 1948, Canada's Kerrin-Lee Gartner (1992) and USA's Lindsey Vonn (2010) have been the only non-European skiers to win gold in downhill.

Women's downhill at Beijing 2022: Stars to watch

Sofia Goggia (ITA): The defending champion, and 2021 globe winner, has been dominant in World Cup with four wins out of five events raced this 2021/22 season, but hasn't competed since her crash in late January.

Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI): Given the uncertainty over Goggia's fitness, the 30-year-old Swiss will probably be the woman to beat, as she's looking for her third medal at Beijing 2022 after gold in Super G and bronze in Giant Slalom. A bronze medallist both at Sochi 2014 and the 2021 Cortina World championships, Gut-Behrami has claimed a recent win in Zauchensee, Austria.

Corinne Suter (SUI): The reigning world champion had a slow start due to an injury in training early this season, but has found her form with a win in the classic downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, just days before the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony.

Kira Weidle (GER): Silver medallist at the 2021 World championships in Cortina, the 25-year-old German has collected two podiums this season.

Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT): The in-form Austrian sits third in the downhill standings after making two podiums in January.

Mirjam Puchner (AUT): The Austrian speedster hopes to add a medal to her silver in super G: for her two downhill podiums (Lake Louise, Val d'Isere) during the current season.

Raghnild Mowinckel (NOR): The PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist is recovering her best form after a serious knee ligament injury and has finished in the top-10 twice in the last three World Cup races.

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