Ski: Bassino wins women’s world super-G gold
The 26-year-old Italian, who won joint gold in the parallel slalom at the last worlds in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 2021, timed 1min 28.06sec down the Roc de Fer piste in Meribel.
“It was just wonderful, in perfect conditions,” said Bassino, who becomes just the second Italian female racer to win world super-G gold after Isolde Kostner in 1996 and 1997.
Shiffrin, who won the super-G title at the 2019 worlds in Are, made up for skiing out of Monday’s alpine combined on the cusp of bagging gold with a second-placed finish just 0.11 seconds behind.
The silver was no real surprise as Shiffrin won the downhill at last season’s World Cup Finals on the same slope.
It saw the 27-year-old American, who is one short of Ingemar Stenmark’s overall record of 86 World Cup victories, draw level with Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt as the winner of most individual world medals (12) in the post-WWII era.
She has now won six golds, three silvers, and three bronzes since making her world champs debut in 2013.
Bronze was shared by Austria’s Cornelia Huetter and Kajsa Vickhoff Lie of Norway, both at 0.33sec.
It is often said that alpine ski racing is a sport of small margins and so it proved in the French resort on a piste bathed in largely sunny, cold conditions.
Bassino, with bib number eight, set the pace and could only look on as a raft of rivals, and podium favorites, took to the start gate.
A familiar pattern to the timings emerged: fast starting, the racers crucially lost time heading into the shady technical midsection of the course, leaving themselves too much to do in the bottom third to reel back in those invaluable hundredths of seconds.
Reigning world and Olympic champion Lara Gut-Behrami was one such racer, the Swiss eventually finishing sixth, at 0.37sec, just one-hundredth behind Ragnhild Mowinckel, the Norwegian who heads up the World Cup super-G standings paying the price for clipping a gate.
Late charger Alice Robinson of New Zealand, starting 30th, threatened to derail the podium but faded at the bottom after leading all the way down, coming in eighth, one place ahead of newly-crowned combined champion Federica Brignone of Italy.
“It was an easier super-G, with not too much speed,” said Brignone. “I was really tired yesterday but it was fine today, I felt good, a bit stressed but that’s good.
“We’re skiing fast, we push all the time!” Brignone said of the Italian women’s team.
“At every training session, someone’s going quick and the level keeps going up.”
The top 14 racers all finished within a second of Bassino and included teammate and two-time Olympic downhill medallist Sofia Goggia and two-time former downhill champion Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia.