The Latest: Holdener retains Alpine combined title
ARE, Sweden (AP) — The Latest from the skiing world championships (all times local):
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland retained her Alpine combined title after beating Petra Vlhova by 0.03 seconds at the world championships.
In fifth place after the downhill leg, Holdener lost time in the top section of the slalom and was tied with the Slovakian skier after the third checkpoint, but she made up ground in the final stretch.
Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway was third, 0.45 seconds behind Holdener.
Aksel Lund Svindal says the International Ski Federation missed a trick by not allowing Lindsey Vonn to compete against men during her career.
The Norwegian skier says a “girl taking on the guys ... would be great marketing for the sport” because “it would have a reach that goes beyond any snow-covered mountains.”
Svindal adds, “I think some bad decisions by FIS there to not let her.”
Vonn petitioned to the FIS for years asking for an opportunity to race against men.
Svindal and Vonn, two of the biggest names in skiing, are retiring after the world championships in Are, Sweden. Their last races are in downhill this weekend.
Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will be in the central Swedish resort to watch Svindal on Saturday.
Fresh off his win in the super-G, Dominik Paris was fastest in a truncated downhill training run.
The Italian skier was 0.10 seconds quicker than Johan Clarey, who was runner-up to Paris in the super-G on Wednesday. Clarey’s fellow Frenchman, Brice Roger, was third a further 0.09 seconds back.
The training run was held on a shortened course because of poor visibility.
The downhill is scheduled for Saturday.
Lindsey Vonn has convinced Ingemar Stenmark to come to her last race.
Vonn says, “I’ve been texting him and he wasn’t planning on being here and I was like, ‘Please, please, please,’ and so he’s coming. I’m really, really, really excited.”
Vonn has 82 World Cup victories, second on the all-time list behind Stenmark’s 86.
Vonn, who will retire after Sunday’s downhill, is wearing a racing suit this week featuring blue and yellow trim in honor of Stenmark.
She says, “Obviously we’re in Sweden but also because of Stenmark and how much he has meant to the sport. It’s something that has motivated me for a long time — his record — so I’m just paying my respects to him and this country.”
Lindsey Vonn is struggling with a rib problem.
After completing the downhill portion of the combined as a training run, Vonn says, “I’m a little stiff still. I actually feel pretty decent. It’s just that my upper rib kind of went out when I was at the start so that’s been kind of giving me a hard time.”
Vonn says the rib problem affects “moving, in general,” adding, “I’ve had rib problems in the past. It’s not a new thing for me but I can fix it before I have to ski.”
Vonn, who will retire after Sunday’s downhill race, also has a black eye from crashing in the super-G on Tuesday.
Still, she says she’ll be aiming to win on Sunday: “Whether I’m ready or not I’m just going to go full throttle.”
Ramona Siebenhofer held a slim lead after the downhill portion of the Alpine combined at the world championships, with favorite Wendy Holdener and Petra Vlhova in good positions going into the slalom leg.
Holdener, the defending champion, was 0.42 seconds off the lead in fifth place and Vlhova a further 0.30 seconds behind in a tie for eighth. They are both strong in the slalom.
Siebenhofer, an Austria who won back-to-back World Cup downhills in Cortina last month, was 0.01 ahead of world downhill champion Ilka Stuhec. Ragnhild Mowinckel was 0.06 seconds off the lead in third place.
Despite being in first place, Siebenhofer is not expected to be in medal contention after the slalom leg, which is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. (1515 GMT).
Corinne Suter, who was third in the super-G on Tuesday, was in fourth place, 0.34 seconds behind.
It was snowing for the racers in the downhill run.
There were no hitches for Lindsey Vonn this time.
Three days after her crash in the super-G, Vonn completed the downhill portion of the Alpine combined race at the world championships. She was using it as a training run for the final race of her career — the downhill on Sunday — so will sit out the slalom leg of the combined.
The American, racing with a shiner under her right eye, smiled and raised her pole to the fans after crossing the line.
Lindsey Vonn is using Friday’s Alpine combined race at the world championships as a training run for the final race of her career.
Vonn will test the course in the downhill portion then sit out the slalom leg as she prepares for Sunday’s downhill race, after which she will retire.
Vonn has not been on the race course since she crashed on Tuesday in the super-G, leaving her with a shiner under her right eye.
The start time of the combined has already been changed twice due to weather conditions
Originally slated to begin at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT), the downhill leg was first delayed by an hour and will now start at 11:30 a.m. (1030 GMT) on a shortened course due to a front coming in to Are.
With Mikaela Shiffrin sitting out, Swiss racer Wendy Holdener is the favorite to defend her title from the 2017 worlds.
The winner of the combined is determined by adding the times from one high-speed downhill run and one shorter slalom leg.
The slalom leg is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. (1515 GMT).