Wendy Holdener wins second consecutive World Champs gold in alpine combined
The ladies’ alpine combined developed into a battle between Wendy Holdener, Petra Vlhova, Ramona Siebenhofer and Ragnhild Mowinckel who were all gunning for World Championship medals under the lights at Åre (SWE). Thanks to two strong runs, it was Wendy Holdener who grabbed gold in the end, a mere three hundredths of a second ahead of Vlhova.
The day dawned following heavy snowfall overnight and light snow continued until lunchtime when the downhill portion of the ladies’ alpine combined was carried out. Due to challenging visibility and conditions at the top, the start position was moved down to the super-G. Ramona Siebenhofer of Austria led the downhill run ahead of Ilka Stuhec and Ragnhild Mowinckel.
Siebenhofer was close to securing a podium finish, but four-hundredths separated her and Mowinckel after the slalom. The Norwegian scored the first World Championships medal of her career with bronze. Accordingly, Austria was left without medal in the ladies’ combined for the first time since 1991.
"Oh, insane. It’s so cool. This is some of the things you dream of and to put it all together on one day when it counts is the best feeling ever. I’m also super excited about my downhill in terms of Sunday and just being able to get the whole slalom run down in a pretty okay manner. I’m super excited about that," said Mowinckel. "This (Åre) is as close to home as it gets. It’s so much fun and having friends and family cheer me on. Even the Swedes I feel cheered me on here. Yeah, kind of like home. I’m super excited about that for sure".
Silver medalist Petra Vlhova was in eighth position after the downhill and really turned it on in the slalom. In the end, there were just three hundredths between her and Wendy Holdener, to the advantage of the Swiss racer. For Holdener it was her second consecutive World Championships gold in alpine combined following St. Moritz in 2017.
"I’ve had really good training sessions recently and once I had a good downhill run I had the feeling that I might make it," said Holdener afterward.
The final ladies' downhill training run scheduled for Saturday was canceled due to forecasted snowfall. Course crews will focus their attention on preparing the slope for Sunday's downhill race for the ladies.