Women’s World Cup combined canceled because of thick fog
AP Sports Writer
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — A World Cup combined event was canceled because of thick fog on Friday, soon after Mikaela Shiffrin was fastest in the opening slalom run.
The poor conditions wiped away Shiffrin’s chances of adding to her overall lead in the standings. Organizers first pushed back the super-G start time and then decided to scrap it.
Later, the American defending overall champion lost a second chance to win the event. Race organizers declined an option to let Saturday’s scheduled super-G double up as the second run of the combined.
Lindsey Vonn wasn’t surprised that racing was stopped.
“I don’t foresee the super-G being able to happen, it’s so foggy,” Vonn said after placing 25th in slalom, 3.33 seconds behind her American teammate. “You can’t even free ski down the hill.”
Organizers tried to defy the gloomy forecast by flipping the race order. Fog and strong winds higher up the hill made the super-G course too dangerous in the morning.
Shiffrin did not have the cleanest slalom run, but she finished 0.39 seconds ahead of Swiss rival Wendy Holdener. In February, Holdener won the combined gold medal when St. Moritz hosted the world championships.
Shiffrin trailed after almost losing her balance though the first steep section after a start on flat terrain, then gained time lower down.
In third place, world silver medalist Michelle Gisin of Switzerland was 1.21 seconds back.
Still, Shiffrin can still look with confidence to super-G races scheduled Saturday and Sunday having placed placing fifth in the speed discipline last Sunday in Lake Louise, Canada.
For the first time since March 2015, former Olympic champion Julia Mancuso started a World Cup race. She finished almost eight seconds behind the leader.
“It was fun to be back in the start and I made it to the finish,” said Mancuso, who was returning from hip surgery. “Today was not the result of my injury, it was the result of lack of training.”
Mancuso, who has won medals in three straight Olympics, is targeting the super-G event to make the U.S. team for the Pyeongchang Games.
The weather denied her a chance to race super-G on Friday.
“I felt like when I got up this morning and they changed the order, that I was being punked,” joked Mancuso, who hopes to start in the two World Cup super-G races this weekend.