Brignone wins super-G in overall leader Shiffrin’s absence

Brignone wins super-G in overall leader Shiffrin’s absence
Italy's Federica Brignone competes in an alpine ski, women's World Cup super G, in Rosa Khutor, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (AP) — Federica Brignone won a women’s World Cup super-G after overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin sat out the race on Sunday, strengthening her runner-up position in the standings.

The win left the Italian 270 points short of Shiffrin’s leading tally.

The American three-time overall champion decided to skip the races in the 2014 Olympic resort after winning the previous super-G and a downhill in Bulgaria a week ago.

With cloudy weather affecting visibility, Brignone overcame a mistake halfway down the course when she caught a bump and lost half a second.

She quickly rediscovered the ideal race line and won by 0.20 seconds ahead of her Italian teammate Sofia Goggia, who returned after missing the last two races with a right leg injury following a downhill crash.

It was the fourth 1-2 finish for the Italian women’s team this Word Cup season.

Joana Haehlen of Switzerland finished 0.34 behind in third for her second career podium, a week after she also finished third in a downhill.

Her fourth-place Swiss teammate Corinne Suter was the only other skier to finish within a half-second of the winner.

Shiffrin was not the only top contender to sit out this weekend’s races, with Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and Italy’s Marta Bassino also refraining from traveling to Russia.

Brignone became the fourth different winner of a women’s super-G this season, after Viktoria Rebensburg, Goggia and Shiffrin won the previous events.

The victory sent Brignone top of the discipline standings, 16 points clear of Suter and 20 ahead of Shiffrin.

Shiffrin’s teammate Breezy Johnson crashed halfway through her run but the American got up and appeared unhurt. Johnson returned to the World Cup in January after a 16-month injury layoff.

The super-G was the first World Cup race here since the Sochi Olympics.

A downhill on Saturday was canceled after days of heavy snowfall affected the slope. The unfavorable weather had already wiped out all three training days this week.

Last season bad weather caused the cancellation of both races.

The women’s World Cup continues with another downhill and super-G in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, next weekend.

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