Winter Olympics: Goggia finds 'incredible strength' to win downhill silver behind Suter soon after Cortina crash

By Sports Desk February 15, 2022 426

Corinne Suter won downhill gold and Sofia Goggia claimed an astonishing Olympic silver medal in Beijing on Tuesday less than a month after a huge crash.

Suter mastered the 'Rock course' at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre to top the podium after crossing the line in a time of one minute, 31.87 seconds.

The Swiss world champion suffered a nasty pre-season training accident in Zermatt back in September, but revealed she took inspiration from the great Lindsey Vonn to win the blue riband event.

Suter said: "My head was not really good from the beginning of the season. It's always difficult when you have such a hard crash because you think, 'yeah it's okay', but it's not."

She added: "From the first training run I really liked the slope here and also the snow is really good. Also I [was] watching today the runs from her (Vonn) all the time. She's my biggest idol."

Goggia could surely never have envisaged winning a medal just 23 days after a crash in Cortina left her with a damaged cruciate ligament and a fractured left leg, yet the Italian was only 0.16secs slower than Suter and she was joined on the podium by compatriot Nadia Delago.

An elated Goggia said: "I came here with no days of skiing. I also crashed in super-G training and I said to my coach: ‘I cannot do this, I cannot do this. How can I make it to the downhill if I cannot put my leg down?’ And he said: ‘You will do it because you know how to do it.'"

Goggia added: "I found an incredible strength inside of myself...I was travelling by a sort of light."

Valieva on course for controversial gold 

Russian teenager Kamila Valieva started her quest to win a controversial figure skating singles gold medal by recovering a mistake to take the lead.

The 15-year-old was contentiously cleared to go for the individual title on Monday despite the revelation that she had tested positive for performance-enhancing drug trimetazidine in December

After helping the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) secure team figure skating gold last week, Valieva headed into the individual event as the favourite to take the title.

Valieva failed to land a triple axel after being cheered onto the ice for her short program routine, but put that behind her to earn a score of 82.16 from the judges. 

She looked very emotional on the ice after such a difficult time for the youngster, who could have found herself thrown out of the Games.

Fellow Russian Anna Shcherbakova is in second spot following her score of 80.20, with Kaori Sakamoto (79.84) of Japan in third heading into the free skate on Thursday.

 

Riiber's Beijing nightmare takes a huge turn for the worse

Norway increased their lead at the top of the medal table, but Jarl Magnus Riiber endured a Nordic combined nightmare.

The 24-year-old spent two weeks isolating in a hotel room after testing positive for coronavirus when he arrived in China, but was on course to win gold a day after coming out quarantine.

The Norwegian topped the ski jump standings on the large hill and held a lead of 44 seconds at the start of the 10-kilometre cross-country skiing race.

Riiber literally lost his way, though, as he headed for the finishing line at the end of the first of four laps, rather than starting another loop.

After realising what he later described as "a silly mistake", Riiber turned back in a hasty retreat, but his advantage had been cut to barely 10 seconds.

He ended up finishing eighth as compatriot Joergen Graabak was crowned champion, and Riiber was left to reflect on a massive gaffe.

 

Debutants Denmark into last eight 

Denmark will face ROC in the quarter-finals of the men's ice hockey competition after beating Latvia 3-2 at the Wukesong Sports Centre.

The Danes are competing in this event for the first time and they are making their presence felt, with goalkeeper Sebastian Dahm describing the defeat of Latvia as "the biggest result in Danish ice hockey."

Germany, silver medallists in PyeongChang four years ago, are out after a 4-0 defeat by Slovakia, who will face the United States in the last eight.

Canada and Sweden will do battle for a place in the semi-finals, while Finland take on Switzerland.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 February 2022 13:11
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