Jasmine Flury, the ‘bombshell’ of the World Cups by winning the descent

The Swiss Jasmine Flury, with a single victory -six years ago- in the World Cup, starred this Saturday in the ‘bombshell’ of the Alpine Ski World Championships in Courchevel and Méribel (France) by scoring the victory in the queen test, the descent, in which the great favourite, the Italian Sofia Goggia, skipped a gate and was disqualified. Flury, 29 years old and who had only two podiums in the World Cup -with a single victory, in front of her fans, in the super-giant of St. Moritz in 2017-, celebrated the most important victory of his sports career by covering the 2,413 meters of the Roc de Fer track in Méribel, starting at an altitude of 2,150 meters and a drop of 685, in a winning time of one minute, 28 seconds and three hundredths, four less than the Austrian Nina Ortlieb. In a test in which another Swiss, Corinne Suter, Olympic champion of the discipline and who defended the title achieved two years ago in Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy), finished at twelve hundredths and won the bronze medal.

Just two days after Canada’s James Crawford surprised by winning gold in the super-gi, Flury raised the ante, since the American, without victories in the regularity competition, did have at least one Olympic medal: the one he captured in the combined of the Beijing Games, last year. The Davos skier became the protagonist of the greatest sensation up to now of the forty-seventh edition of the World Cups of the king of winter sportsin a race whose outcome was also unexpected, as the main candidates for victory were left off the podium.

Stephanie Venier, who had only guaranteed herself a place in the Austrian quartet by winning the internal qualification scoring on Thursday the best time in the second of the three descents for the queen test, was the first to jump onto the track on another day of sun and blue skies. Her time was immediately improved by Flury, who skied with the number 2 number and was not beaten by anyone. Venier would finish seventh -one place behind the Slovenian Ilka Stuhec- a test in which Austria placed its four skiers among the best seven: Mirjam Puchner and Cornelia Hütter, both at 37 hundredths, shared fourth place, which in a big event leaves no one happy.

Austria, the great historical power – from which Switzerland is losing prominence -, She arrived at these World Cups with doubts, but, despite the fact that she still lacks a gold that, for the moment, places her fifth in a medal table that Italy dominates, this Saturday she added her fifth medal. The one won by Nina Ortlieb, the daughter of the great Patrick Ortlieb: who in 1996, four years after becoming Olympic downhill champion, won gold in that discipline in Spain, in the Sierra Nevada World Championships (Granada), crowning a list of winners with few but very select victoriesamong which he counts in the descent of Kitzbühel (Tyrol), on the monstrous Streif track.

Nina, who only had three podiums and one victory in the World Cup, in the super-giant of La Thuille (Italy) three years ago, captured this Saturday silver in the French Savoy, where his father had won Olympic gold at the Albertville’92 Games with an advantage of four hundredths: exactly the same difference by which his daughter missed the world title, who accepted the silver and who, at 27, expects more opportunities to emulate her father. In the same way, Suter celebrated, who in her condition as current Olympic and world champion should have counted directly among the clear favoritesbut that he arrived with the insecurity that he was given by not having passed twentieth place in the super-giant on Wednesday.

Suter, 28, who had fallen just three weeks ago (on January 20) on the mythical ‘Tofana’ slope in Cortina, ‘pulled gallons’. It was not by chance that he had been on the podium in both speed tests in the previous two championships, in the aforementioned station in the Dolomites and in Are (Sweden), four years ago. So the Swiss took out the wild card of talent and ended up taking her fifth medal in World Cups. She is the sixth in major events, in another excellently used sports career, in which she has another five victories, in the World Cup.

Italy maintained first place in the medal table, but Goggia, Olympic gold medalist in the discipline in PyeongChang (South Korea), five years ago; and silver -behind Suter- in the Beijing Gameslast year he wanted to have dedicated the victory to his teammate Elena Fanchini, who died last Wednesday at the age of 37 due to cancer; and in whose memory a minute of silence was observed this Saturday in Méribel. He did not succeed, because, despite “not” having risked -according to his own words- skiing made the leader of the World Cup of the modality “a stranger”, who “ate” a door at the beginning of the third third of the course and was disqualified.

The German Kira Weidle, world runner-up in the discipline two years ago, finished eighth. And the Swiss Lara Gut -with eleven medals in major events, winner of the World Cup, in which she has 36 victories; and which is trained by the Spanish José Luis Alejo- and the Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel -Olympic downhill runner-up at the PyeongChang Games- ranked immediately behind, in ninth and tenth place. In a test without Spanish participation, the exotic note was put by Sabrina Simader, who achieved twenty-sixth place for Kenya. Born 24 years ago in the Kenyan town of Kakumu, Sabrina, whose mother is of that nationality, has lived since she was three in Austria, her stepfather’s country, where she learned to ski. And this Saturday, in the main test, he did quite well, staying four seconds and three tenths behind Flury, who described the most important victory of his sports career as “unreal and crazy”.

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