BRATISLAVA – A change of venue at the last minute, poorly prepared track, shocking favorites and finally a traditional winner from Slovakia. A wonderful weekend that we will not forget!
The World Cup returned to Kranjska Gora after two years and the fans of downhill skiing could enjoy a really crazy race.
Petra Vlhová did not win a huge slalom on Saturday, but she did not think about 15th place for a long time. And she did well. After the first round of Sunday’s slalom, she criticized the organizers, but in the second round she showed a traditionally dominant performance and won in the fifth of six competitions.
The fact that Sunday’s slalom in the Slovenian resort will go down in the history of downhill skiing is also evidenced by the selection of the ten most interesting moments and facts that have traveled the entire sports world:
1. Petra Vlhová won 12 of the last 18 slaloms in the World Cup carousel. In the period from Zagreb 2020 to Kranjska Gora in 2022, she also took two second places and the eighth finished worst. Apart from the Slovak skier, only Mikaela Shiffrinová (3), Katharina Liensbergerová (2) and Michelle Gisinová (1) were happy with the triumph.
2. There is no better slalom skier in today’s women’s skiing. Out of a possible 600 points, the charge of Mauro Pini grabbed 580 and is sovereignly leading the evaluation of the discipline. She holds a comfortable, 240-point lead over her American rival and can only be affected by a sporting misfortune. By the end of the season, only three slaloms remain and Vlhova only one third place is enough to win the valuable trophy. He will have a chance to seal the victory in the overall evaluation of the discipline on Tuesday evening in Schladming, Austria.
3. Our best athlete is also rising in the historical tables. The 25th triumph brought her to the level of Swiss Maria Walliser and Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister, and only one victory separates her from the settlement of the record of Tina Maze and Michaela Figini. Vlhová is already sixth in the historical ranking of slalom victories, together with the Swedish icon Anja Pärson.
4. One mistake was enough and it was over. American star Mikaela Shiffrin flew down the Slovenian slope like a whirlwind, building an abysmal lead, but just before the finish she made a big mistake and was eliminated by an unpopular spy. The most successful slalom skier in history did not finish the race for the first time since 2018, when she was disqualified in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
5. The unfortunate conclusion from Kranjska Gora makes it all the more shocking that the three-time winner of the big crystal globe was eliminated in the 2nd round of slalom only the third time in her career. It sounds unbelievable, but every time a Slovak skier rejoiced in the victory. Slalom in Semmering 2012 was dominated by Veronika Velez-Zuzulová, it was her first triumph in the World Championships.
It is interesting that only 17-year-old Petra Vlhová, who took a great 11th place, had her premiere in the carousel of the World Championships at that time. It was the piercing Liptáček who did not hesitate to take advantage of Shiffrin’s other dropouts. In addition to yesterday’s success, she could also raise her hands in Lenzerheide in 2018.
“That ????? happens!”
– Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 9, 2022
6. The prelude to the fact that the slalom in the Slovenian resort will be a “funeral home for the favorites” was already the opening race in the first round presented by the eternally laughing Swiss Michelle Gisin. The partner of the Italian giant slalom specialist Luca De Aliprandini has already scored on the fourth goal, and for the first time in almost five years and 33 slalom riders, the abbreviation “DNF” shone on her name. She stood on the podium six times during that period.
7. The Austrian Katharina Liensbergerová did not finish the slalom on the slope in the village of Podkoren. This is the first elimination after almost three years for the defender of the small globe, the last time she did not finish the World Championships in Špindlerův Mlýn in March 2019.
8. The Czech national team member Martina Dubovská did not cross the finish line either. She doesn’t want her native Slovakia the beginning of the year, when she fell in the slalom SP twice in a row, which has never happened to her before. At first she did not succeed in Zagreb and did not even make it to the slalom in Kranjska Gora. She last did not finish her favorite discipline on December 29, 2019 in Lienz, Austria.
Photo gallery (33)
Source: TASR / Martin Baumann
9. Do you remember? It was written on February 16, 2020, and the Swede Anna Swenn-Larsson had by far the best split time on the track in Kranjska Gora just before the end, but she fell a few goals before the finish line. Petra Vlhová was happy with the victory, who also became the winner of the Golden Fox event. This year, a similar mistake was made by Mikaela Shiffrin and the Slovak star used it again. History is repeating!
10. In the end, probably the biggest pitcher in the history of downhill skiing. Yesterday, Wendy Holdener reached the 29th podium in the most spinning discipline, but she still did not see her premiere victory. In the entire history of the World Cup, we will not find a competitor who has a higher number of places in the top three without a win. On Sunday, she was missing only 23 hundredths.
Photo gallery for the article
Number of photos: 33