News Detail

Super Speed Sunday

12 February 2017: It was an incredible day of immense speed at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships - both the Ladies’ and Men’s Downhill were held back to back! A thick band of low-lying cloud had prevented play on Saturday. Thankfully today the show was able to go on and the 30,000 strong crowd were certainly in for a treat.

Finish in Salastrains (Agence Zoom)
Ilka Stuhec (Agence Zoom)
Ilka Stuhec
Stephanie Vernier
Lindsey Vonn
Stephanie Vernier, Ilka Stuhec and Lindsey Vonn
Patrouille Suisse (Agence Zoom)
(Filip Zuan)
Beat Feuz (Agence Zoom)
Beat Feuz
Max Franz (Agence Zoom)
Erik Guay
Erik Guay
Max Franz
Max Franz
Patrick Küng (Agence Zoom)
Beat Feuz
Beat Feuz (Agence Zoom)
Erik Guay, Beat Feuz and Max Franz (Agence Zoom)

Ilka Stuhec comes out on Top
Ilka Stuhec is the Ladies’ Downhill World Champion and second Slovenian to hold the title following Tina Maze who claimed gold two years ago. Having missed out in the Alpine Ladies’ Combined she will be delighted to take top spot in the ultimate discipline of the Championships. She flew down the piste and navigated the course with confidence, lost the lead briefly at the penultimate time check, but finished with phenomenal speed to ensure a performance that nobody could touch.

Italy’s Soffia Goggia provided a brief moment of scare - she was seemingly having a great run and certainly taking the most risks when she lost some control and crossed skis in approaching the Lärchenweg. Amazingly she stayed on both feet and still completed a solid run but was thereafter pushed from a podium spot by Lindsey Vonn.

Claiming the bronze at 32 years and 117 days Lindsey Vonn is the oldest medallist in any ladies’ event at the World Championships. Her calibre is beyond doubt and with 7 World Championship medals now under her belt she matches the U.S. record!

The biggest surprise came from Stephanie Vernier, who only raced after teammate Anna Veith chose not to start. Having won the Junior World Title four years ago she showed her calibre amongst the senior ranks skiing herself to the silver medal. Her motto “only those who dare, achieve” was certainly symbolic of the performance today.

No Free Fall!
The Men’s Downhill race started at a slightly lower altitude - the eagerly awaited "Free Fall presented by AUDI" was declared out of use, as visibility was not sufficient to ensure the safety of the competition. A shame, but safety always comes first!

FEUZ on Fire!
It was an afternoon full suspense, as Switzerland’s Beat Feuz sped himself to take gold, and that only in the latter stages of his run. The crowd was ecstatic, the drama unfolding in front of their very eyes, as Feuz gained time on every turn before catapulting himself across the line. Clearly delighted, he kicked his ski into the air in front of a sea of Swiss flags. Not a bad medal to add to his bronze from two years ago, and just one day after his 30th birthday.

Starting three bibs earlier fellow Swiss teammate Patrick Küng displayed a very strong descent and, for a moment, was leading the ranking alongside Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud. They were soon pushed from the podium by Canadian Erik Guay and Austrian Max Franz, they finished the day with the silver and bronze medals respectively. Having won the Super G just four days ago, Guay becomes this World Championships first double medallist.

Nation of the day: Following a weekend, full of action, Switzerland remain top of the medal tally with two golds, one silver and one bronze!

Speediest of the day: The skiers were fast, but not as fast as the Patrouille Suisse who wowed the crowd and amassed over 1000km/h as they flew in formation over the finish area at Salastrains.

Lucky number of the day: 13! Beat Feuz took this bib and skied to gold.

Most feared word of the day: Fog - it prevented the Free Fall being in use but at least it did not stop play. Luckily, the second week promises to be full of sunshine so get your shades out.


Most spoken word of the day:
‘Super Sunday’ or ‘Super Speed Sunday’ – a day that will surely go down in FIS Alpine World Championship history!

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