Gut-Behrami goes double Gold with win in the GS

Ski racing can be a cruel mistress but a very gracious mistress in equal measure. Lara Gut-Behrami joined an illustrious group of four racers to have won the Super G and Giant Slalom World Championships at the same event with victory in the Giant Slalom. Gut-Behrami, edged out Mikaela Shiffrin by 0.02 with Katharina Liensberger 0.09 behind her to take the bronze. Alice Robinson took fourth, Ramona Siebenhofer, fifth and Polish racer Maryna Gasienca-Daniel sixth.

Gut-Behrami chased down the American double header after the first run and just edged the win to take her second win of the championships and her eighth medal in World Championship competition. Eight hundredths behind Shiffrin after the first run, the Swiss racer managed to go a tenth of a second faster than Shiffrin to secure the win. It was fascinating racing for those watching, for those racing it was draining. Two runs that combined to two and a half minutes of racing across brutal hard ice and then softening snow, gave the lactic acid reserves a huge work out.

Never has the oppression leaving it all on the course been more evident as the racers dealt with the conditions in their own way. tiredness hit racers in different ways but this was a World Championship with many racers looking for their own way to secure success.

Marta Bassino was a home favourite but her first run had deprived her of a realistic chance to add to the four wins on the World Cup this season. She managed to edge out France's Coralie Frasse Sombet from the leaders enclosure on run two but this was not the same racer that fans of the World Cup have become accustomed to. Home pressure maybe could have taken its toll but she leaves the World Championship with a Gold having won the Individual Parallel, shared with Katharina Liensberger. Bassino took 13th.

Petra Vlhova was another looking for a medal laden success at the World Championships. A silver in the Alpine Combined has been her 'haul' so far. Had she taken on too much? She still has one more race to go for Gold but she looked to be struggling as she battled her way in to 12th.

As with all good high class races, there was a huge amount of juggling on the second run as racers pushed themselves to the limit. Michelle Gisin went from fifth to eleventh on the second run; Wendy Holdener improved from 13th to 8th while Tessa Worley, chasing her third World Championship Gold, was fairly static in going from 9th to 7th.

The length of the course and the warming up conditions played havoc all the way down. Coralie Frasse Sombet had put in an early marker and then Ramona Siebenhofer put in another marker than saw her make good progress up the leaderboard. Siebenhofer is more recognised as a speed racer but this was a performance that gave the Austrian Women hope for Liensberger who had yet to race.

Alex Tilley had battled her way into the top thirty from the first run and produced another gritty and gutsy performance at the top of the second run. She took on the challenge of the time set by Frasse-Sombet but as the course went on, the muscles tired. This was day three of high intensity racing for Britain's only entrant in the race. Afterwards she posted on Instagram:

"I’m happy with 17th today, I ran out of gas big time at the bottom, but I fought hard and gave it everything. I’ve been told many times that I should try to ski more efficiently, but this is the kind of skiing I enjoy, on the limit and giving every ounce of power I have. Also @baxternoel did a stellar job on the skis today with mixed conditions." She made all the British fans proud!

The World Championships are about three pieces of metal: Gold, silver and bronze. Taking one of them home is what it is all about and this is why racers are told by their coaches to leave it all on the hill.

One of the real stars for the future, and one who will return to this hill for the 2026 Olympics, Alice Robinson was looking to be a teenage medal winner as she powered out the gate. it was a joy to watch and her technique in ensuring she had the power ion the outside ski over the rollers will be in coaches manuals for years to come.

Robinson, just 19 years old, a two time winner on the World Cup, took the lead with five to go. Gisin was first up and she dropped off the pace.

Could she hold on?

Having benefited from her National Team coach having set the first run, Liensberger was next down. She let rip and was rewarded with taking the lead from the New Zealander by over half a second courtesy of the fastest time on the run. the tension was mounting.

Gut-Behrami was next on course and her subtle use of her edges on the flatter sections gave her an advantage that saw her take the lead from the Austrian. She had left everything on the slope. Would it be enough?

Two Americans to go, could they go one two?

Nina O'Brien was delighted with her first run and looked to be heading towards a career high when she got caught in the soft snow that was building up and credit to the American, she managed to keep going but had jettisoned too much speed to maintain a podium challenge. Afterwards she said: “I feel like shoulda, coulda, woulda – it was still a really good day for me, maybe it was almost spectacular,"

Surely Shiffrin could dispel the sorrow from the American team that O'Brien had brought on?

Shiffrin attacked and was toying with the green light all the way down. By the time she crossed the line, it had gone red. 0.02 in the red and Lara Gut Behrami was holding her hands in the air as Shiffrin was disconsolate next to her. Gut-Behrami had gone to the American before celebrating.

Swiss, American and Austrian medals....

Ireland's Tess Arbez finished in a very creditable 38th place.

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