Anna Fenninger wins Worlds giant slalom; Vonn, Shiffrin, Maze miss medals
Austrian Anna Fenninger won her second gold medal at the World Alpine Skiing Championships, taking the giant slalom, while Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin and Tina Maze finished off the podium.
Fenninger, who captured the super-G last week, prevailed by 1.4 seconds combining times from two runs Thursday in Beaver Creek, Colo. Fenninger was fastest in the first run and second fastest in the second run, despite nearly falling at one point.
“I thought I will crash,” Fenninger told NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno. “It’s unbelievable that I could stand and stay in the course. It’s so close to lose everything and [then] to win everything.”
German Viktoria Rebensburg earned silver, followed by Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby taking bronze.
Slovenia’s Tina Maze was fifth, ending her bid to become the first woman to win five individual medals at a single World Championships. Maze, the World Cup overall leader who may retire after this season, previously took gold in the downhill and super combined and silver in the super-G.
Shiffrin placed eighth in the giant slalom, her second-best event behind the slalom, where she will defend her World title Saturday. Shiffrin had placed tied for first, third, sixth and 10th in four World Cup giant slaloms this season.
Vonn finished 14th, competing in giant slalom for the first time in more than two years and in her final event of these World Championships. Boyfriend Tiger Woods was on hand to watch her race Thursday. Vonn improved from 27th place after the first run with the fifth-best second run.
“Second run, I finally found the timing, and I just let it go,” Vonn said on NBCSN. “It’s nice to kind of end these championships on a positive note.”
Vonn, 30, ended the World Championships with a bronze medal in the super-G, a fifth in the downhill and did not finish the super combined. She hoped for better after winning five of 10 World Cup starts in her comeback in December and January.
“These World Championships just haven’t really gone the way I had hoped and dreamed that they would,” Vonn, who felt knee soreness during Worlds, said after her first run Thursday, according to the Denver Post. “I’ve got to look at the small positives. I still have one medal, and I’m proud of that.”
The World Championships continue with the men’s giant slalom Friday, including defending World champion Ted Ligety.