Goggia beats Vonn to women's downhill skiing World Cup title

Are (Sweden) (AFP) - Italy's Sofia Goggia lost the race but won the World Cup women's downhill title on Wednesday as she finished second to Lindsey Vonn in the finals in Are, Sweden.

Switzerland's Beat Feuz took the men's downhill title when he finished third in his race.

Goggia, who won the downhill gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February, needed to finish second to ensure she added a first World Cup globe.

The Italian started the final race with a 23-point edge over Vonn, who took bronze in South Korea, and a 71-point cushion over the only other potential champion, Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.

Goggia skied ninth and posted the fastest time to that point, finishing in 55.71sec and eliminating Weirather who had already completed her run.

Vonn started 13th of the 26 entrants and eclipsed Goggia by 0.06sec. That gave the American an 82nd World Cup victory, only four fewer than the all-time record of Ingemar Stenmark, but she needed help to claim her 17th small globe for winning a World Cup discipline.

If Goggia remained in second, Vonn would gain only 20 points in the standings and the Italian would take the title by just three points.

Vonn's compatriot Alice McKennis, the 23rd skier to race, came closest to overtaking Goggia, but the American, whose only previous World Cup podium came in 2013, finished 0.22 behind the Italian to take third.

- 'Not done until it's done' -

Weirather finished seventh, 0.49 behind Vonn.

"It was really a nervous moment, I had to wait so long and it seems like the race never ended," said Goggia.

"You never know what can happen and even though some girls congratulated me for the title, I said 'thank you, but it's not done until it's done'. I waited until (Petra) Vlhova and after I said 'it's done'."

After narrowly missing out on a ninth World Cup downhill title, Vonn said her aim is to eclipse Swedish legend Stenmark's record before she retires from the sport.

"I'm focused just on trying to win and I feel like hopefully I can break the record if I just stay focused on the skiing," she said.

"This year has been a good year for me in downhill, I've been getting closer and closer to Ingemar as the season has gone on and we have one more chance tomorrow (in the Super-G). The main goal now for the remainder of my career is to beat Ingemar's record."

Feuz lifted the men's downhill globe when he finished third and the only man who could have caught him in the standings, the Pyeongchang Olympic champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, was fourth.

The 31-year-old Swiss skier had to settle for the bronze medal in Pyeongchang but the World Cup globe was a fitting reward for the most consistent downhill performer of the World Cup season. He has won in Lake Louise, Wengen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

His time of 1min 20.21sec was just 0.04sec behind the Austrian pair Vincent Kriechmayr and Matthias Mayer who tied for first.

Svindal had to settle for second in the downhill rankings.