Weirather takes race, super-G title at World Cup Finals
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein turned in a smooth run to win a World Cup race Thursday at World Cup Finals and overtake Slovenia's Ilka Stuhec for the super-G crown.
The challenging course resulted in several big crashes, including American Lindsey Vonn hitting a panel and sliding down before going into the safety nets. She eventually skied to the finish and waved to the crowd.
Trailing Stuhec by 15 points in the standings, Weirather held nothing back and finished in 1 minute, 11.66 seconds. Two racers later, Stuhec wasn't as smooth and was second, 0.35 seconds behind. Federica Brignone of Italy wound up third.
Weirather captured her first season-long title by five points as she added to the family's haul. Her mother, Hanni Wenzel, won numerous crystal globes, while her father, Harti Weirather, earned one. They become the first parent/child combination to both win crystal globes, according to information provided by the International Ski Federation.
''I was so nervous. I knew there was a lot on the line,'' Weirather said. ''I don't know what to say. It's just incredible.''
Stuhec's flickering overall title hopes remained mathematically afloat. She trails Mikaela Shiffrin by 198 points with two races left. Stuhec would need to win both events and have Shiffrin score virtually no points. Shiffrin is close to joining esteemed company in Phil Mahre, Tamara McKinney, Bode Miller and Vonn as the only Americans to win the overall crown.
The road to the World Cup title was made a little more favorable when defending overall champion Lara Gut of Switzerland suffered a season-ending knee injury during training at the world championships last month. At the time, Shiffrin held a slim lead over Gut.
It's been quite a season for Stuhec, who wrapped up the downhill title Wednesday. Her mom waxes and takes care of her skis.
On a warm day, quite a few skiers struggled to hold their tight lines on the difficult course. Italian skiers Johanna Schnarf and Sofia Goggia both went sliding down the hill. Later, Vonn crashed and then teammate Laurenne Ross went down in a similar spot.
''I think I released the ski a little bit too early,'' Vonn said. ''Once I realized I didn't have enough direction, I tried to really hammer on it. I didn't really have the strength and power to make it back. I almost had it, but I didn't.''
Vonn is already thinking about her plans heading into the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. This has been a difficult season for Vonn, who fractured her upper right arm during a training fall in November. It led to surgery and nerve damage so severe that she couldn't move her fingers. She still has a difficult time pushing out of the start gate with her ski pole.
Still, she earned World Cup win No. 77 in January. She's trying to break the record held by Ingemar Stenmark, the Swedish standout who earned 86 World Cup wins.
''I think all things considered it was a respectable season and I'm coming out of it in one piece,'' said Vonn, who was dealing with a cold this week. ''Next year, I'm really going to focus on the Olympics.
''I've decided to ski another year past the Olympics so I can focus on the Olympics next year and then the World Cup wins record after that, so I don't have too much pressure on myself next season.''