Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sofia Goggia Tops Korean Downhill Podium

After World Cup podiums and a World Championships bronze medal in St. Moritz 2017 Italian Sofia Goggia takes her career first victory at Jeongseon, South Korea, at the test event downhill for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.
Sofia Goggia was able to best Lindsey Vonnher by a narrow 0.07 seconds. Ilka Stuhec ultimately rounded out the podium in third, 0.23 seconds off the winning pace.
"It was not [hard to win] because I just skied for myself today. I just tried to enjoy the slope, to push as hard as I could where I could, and to use a little bit more tactics when required because in the training runs, I missed a gate. So I really tried to focus on myself and this paid off", said Goggia. "It feels good, but I still have to realize it. I think that when I’m going on the podium, there at the prize giving ceremony, I’m going to realize it. But still not now”.
Lindsey Vonn pushed out of the gate with bib 1. The American had some early bobbles in the upper terrain, but she skied a fast enough run to hold the early lead.
"I thought [my run] was good. Definitely made some mistakes. The top, just kind of got rocked by the bumps and then on the bottom, just got a little bit low in my line and lost some speed. The girls made up a couple tenths on me on the very bottom, so it’s nice to know that my skiing is getting better and I finally feel like I’m on an upward pace. It’s been a struggle this year. But before Whistler [Olympics], in the test events, I was second as well, so I think it’s a good position to be in and it’s a great track, so I’m excited", said Vonn. "Right away, even after the first inspection, I knew that it was going to be a good track for me, and I think there’s also something to be said for not winning the test events. Sometimes that can be quite a bit of extra pressure added on unnecessarily. I think I have enough of that, so I don’t really need any more. I know where I can make up the time, and I think it definitely bodes well for next year".
With Goggia's victory, Ilka Stuhec was blocked from claiming the downhill title prior to the final race of the season. She was three points shy of securing the small globe without carrying the fight on to Aspen.
"A few turns were not that clean, I guess, because I knew I had to keep the higher line than I had in trainings. So I guess I lost some speed there, which was I lost some time again. But it’s a lesson learned, and I’ll keep that in mind when we get back here", said Stuhec. "I’m still really happy for Sofia. She really has a great season as well, and she’s skiing really good. But we have one more race. A lot is still open, but it’s skiing".

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