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Women’s World Cup downhill results amended due to finish-line timing error

Haehlen, Goggia, Gut-Behrami

GENEVA — In ongoing fallout of faulty finish-line timing, a women’s World Cup downhill result was altered on Tuesday three days after the race, forcing two podium places to be changed.

The International Ski Federation said reassessing problems with Swiss Timing’s system on Saturday at Crans-Montana in Switzerland has knocked two Swiss racers off the podium.

“FIS and Swiss Timing would like to apologize to all competitors, teams, media and Alpine Skiing followers for this unfortunate incident,” the governing body said in a statement. Swiss Timing is the sports industry leader tied to luxury watch brands Longines and Omega, the Olympic Games partner.

The malfunctioning finish-line equipment had already caused the result to be amended about one hour after the race, won by Olympic champion Sofia Goggia, who was unaffected by the fiasco.

Four Swiss racers, including Joana Haehlen and Lara Gut-Behrami, did not have electronically timed runs and each failed to stop the clock when crossing the finish line.

Their times were calculated manually on Saturday — promoting Gut-Behrami from fourth to third — but have since been reevaluated and found to be wrong.

FIS said recalculating the four racers’ runs has added 0.13 seconds to their times. They had 0.13 deducted on Saturday.

It means Haehlen and Gut-Behrami drop from second and third, respectively, to fourth and sixth. Haehlen loses her first career top-three result.

World Cup downhill standings leader Nicole Schmidhofer rises from fourth to runner-up, and Corinne Suter, the world championships silver medalist also from Switzerland, goes from fourth to third.

The race was run under blue skies and in warm sunshine which caused problems with the fast-softening snow.

“The reason that the four times were not recorded was as a consequence of the set-up of the photo cells at the finish, which were mounted too high,” FIS said. “After two training days the snow level was somewhat lower due to the multiple runs and slipping on the course, as well as melting due to the sunlight.

“Swiss Timing has since checked the timing tapes and recalculated all the manual times from the race using the correct methodology.”

Swiss Timing is run by Switzerland-based Swatch Group, and brands World Cup ski races with the Longines name.

On its website, Swiss Timing says, “We are committed to the art of measuring times with precision and reliability using the technologies we have developed to meet the most exacting of standards in every sport.”