Ladie's Downhill: Speed pure!
Because of fog on Saturday, the ladie's AND the men's downhill race are held on Sunday. In the following text, it is all about the ladies. If you would like to check out the background information about the men's race, please klick here!
The History: Intoxicating speed has also featured amongst the women right from the beginning. British racer Esmé McKinnon won the first World Championship title in Mürren in 1931, ahead of her fellow countrywoman Nell Carroll and the Austrian Irma von Schmiedegg. The Downhill is the only alpine discipline, which has a training run before the race itself; when no training runs are possible, no racing can take place.
The Course Requirement: The distance between the start and finish gate is not fixed, but must have an altitude difference of between 450 and 800 metres. Here in St. Moritz it is 715 metres.
The Ski: The ski must be at least 205cm long, the width under the binding must be at least 6,5cm and in front of the binding there must be a minimum of 9,5cm. The minimum radius must be 50 metres.
The Format: There is just one run. The starting order is given according to the current World Cup start list. The first 10 can choose a starting position with an odd number between 1 and 19, the racers with a placing between 11 and 20 get an even number between 11 and 20. The athletes between 21 and 30 are drawn a number between 21 and 30.
The World Championship Course: The World Championship course is distinguished by its many waves and terrain transitions, closely matching the topography of the mountain. It is important to maintain correct speed and in choosing a good line through the many curves speed can be built continuously throughout the run. Athletes who can hold and build their momentum right to the finish line stand a great change of a top ranking!
The World Title Holder: In 2013, Tina Maze (Slo) won ahead of Anna Veith (Austria) and Lara Gut (Switzerland). Maria Walliser was Switzerland’s last Ladies Downhill World Champion in 1989.
The Favorites: Ilka Stuhec (Slo) won the first three downhill runs of the winter, followed by Christine Scheyer (Ö), Lindsey Vonn (USA) and Lara Gut (Sz). Watch out for Sofia Goggia (It), who is extremely fast, and has already completed a very good run in the Alpine Combined. Unfortunately, Lara Gut and Anna Veith, who have been severely injured, will not start. The World Cup Final in 2016 was won by Mirjam Puchner (Ö), who unfortunately fractured her shin and calf bone in practice, ahead of Fabienne Suter (Sz) and Elena Curtoni (It).