The Swiss women had another impressive day with Corinne Suter snagging gold—her second medal of the 2021 World Champs—and super-G winner Lara Gut in third place for the bronze. Kira Weidle of Germany was second for her first World Championships medal. Suter’s win made her only the second woman to win a medal in both downhill and super-G in two World Championships—former U.S. Alpine Ski Team star Lindsey Vonn was the only other skier to achieve the feat in 2007 and 2009.
Today it was Suter’s turn to shine as Thursday’s super-G silver medalist climbed up a positive to claim her first career World Championship gold medal.
Gut-Behrami came down six racers later and looked poised to claim her second gold medal, but she lost time after the last split and ended 0.37 seconds behind Suter, good for third place.
Splitting the two Swiss speed stars was a surprise in second place, German Kira Weidl, 0.20 seconds off the winning pace. It was the first World Championship medal for Weidl, who until today had only made the podium twice in her young World Cup career, two third places, with the last podium coming in 2019.
After tough weather days at the start of the week, Cortina dished up a dream day for the women’s downhillers. Cloudless blue skies and crisp temperatures greeted the field as one of the most scenic downhill courses in the world, had a chance to truly shine for today’s World Championship race.
Thanks to exploits of Gut-Behrami and Suter, Switzerland holds a strong lead in the overall medal count with four total. While the Swiss men were shut out of the medals in Thursday’s Super-G, they have several favorites at the start of tomorrow’s downhill who could help build on the lead.
Breezy Johnson led the way for the Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team women in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships downhill in ninth place, a career-best World Champs result.
While weather issues at the beginning of the week canceled the first two races, the day was as picturesque as one could ask in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Hero snow created the perfect track with a bit of wind whipping around the course. Johnson, who had been on the podium in the last four out of five downhills on the FIS World Cup circuit, came into the race confident and hunting for her first World Championships medal, but a mistake at the top of the course nearly took her down and lost her significant time. She pulled off an impressive recovery and continued making up time throughout the run to put her into ninth place overall.
“I knew the wind was kicking a lot and I lost sight of being over the outside ski a little bit more than I should have,” said Johnson. “I thought the rest of my run was really good and I really thought I executed my plan everywhere and skied as well as I could. Mistakes happen when you’re going for it!”
Isabella Wright, in her first-ever World Championships, snagged an impressive 21st place. Jackie Wiles was 24th and Laurenne Ross 26th.