Brignone and Huetter share World Cup super-G victory

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Cornelia Huetter and Federica Brignone tied for first in a World Cup super-G on Sunday in the final race before the Beijing Olympics.

Brignone looked certain of securing a third super-G win of the season after a dominating performance from start to finish on the Kandahar course, but the Italian was in anxious expectation as Huetter – who had been 0.18 seconds slower at second checkpoint – did downtime in second half of course.

Brignone could only smile and shake his head in disbelief – and perhaps a bit of relief – as Huetter crossed the line in exactly the same time of 1:18.19.

“When I crossed the line I realized it was a good course and then I got a little scared with Huetter but it’s good to be on the top step of the podium together. I’m really happy for her too,” Brignone said.

It was a 19th World Cup victory for Brignone but only a third for Huetter, whose last victory was a downhill in Lake Louise, Canada, in December 2017.

“Yeah that’s really nice. It was a little weird crossing the finish line and I saw the green light and I saw 0.00,” Huetter said.

“I was really happy to share it with Fede, her skiing was really good and it’s nice to share it with her and I’m super happy with the day.”

Huetter’s Austrian teammate Tamara Tippler was third fastest, 0.82 behind the pair.

As the start of the Winter Olympics neared, several top contenders skipped races in Garmisch, including overall rivals Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova, and world super-G champion Lara Gut-Behrami .

Sofia Goggia, who has won two super-G races this season, was injured in a World Cup super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo last week. The Italian has started physical rehabilitation with the aim of returning in time for the Olympic downhill on February 15, but will likely miss the giant slalom on February 7 and the super-G on February 11.

That makes teammate Brignone one of the favorites for gold in what will likely be her last shot at Olympic glory. Brignone won bronze in the giant slalom four years ago.

“I would like to take that confidence with me until then. I hope to find the same feeling with the skis, with everything,” said Brignone, 31.

“And just try to enjoy, enjoy the moment. I think these will be my last Olympics and I will try to give my all to my nation, to myself and to everyone who works with me.

Among the 10 best skiers in the general classification, only Brignone, Corinne Suter and Elena Curtoni raced.

With this victory, Brignone increased his lead at the top of the super-G classification, dominated by Italy. Brignone is 103 points ahead of Curtoni and 145 over Goggia.

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