Golden Lara Gut-Behrami Wins Giant Slalom in Cortina 2021
Super tight Giant Slalom race full of emotion until the very last moment and a second gold medal in Cortina 2021 for Lara Gut-Behrami. Today’s gold medal joins her gold in the Super-G and the bronze medal in the Downhill.
Mikaela Shiffrin finished in second place just +0.02 behind Gut-Behrami. Katharina Liensberger rounded out the podium in third place +0.09 seconds behind the Swiss.
Lara Gut-Behrami joined a very exclusive club. Until today only 3 women had won the Super-G and Giant slalom world title in the same year: Alexandra Meissnitzer (1999), Anja Pärson (2005), and Anna Veith (2015).
Gut-Behrami's performance means she becomes the most decorated Swiss woman in world championships history. She has won eight medals in total at the world championships 2 Gold (Cortina 2021, SG and GS) 3 Silver (Val d'Isere 2009, SG and SComb.; Schladming, SG), and 3 bronze (Vail-Beaver Creek 2015, DH; St. Moritz 2017, SG; and Cortina 2021, DH).
The last Swiss women to win multiple individual world titles at a single championship were Erika Hess and Maria Walliser (both 2 gold in 1987).
“I never expect a medal but I have always dreamed of one in Giant Slalom and I am really happy that it happened today. I’m really thrilled with the result, to finish my World Championships with a gold medal is a dream", said Gut-Behrami.
“I’ve been struggling a lot in the last years, but this year I was coming back step by step, (...) Giant Slalom has always been so important for me in my entire career. I always knew that if I’m skiing well in Giant Slalom then it’s easy to be fast even in the other disciplines (...) I was tired, but I just tried to enjoy”, Gut-Behrami added.
Mikaela Shiffrin was leading after the first run but had to settle for silver, and missed out on the chance of a seventh world title. It is her third medal in Giant Slalom. Shiffrin claimed silver in St. Moritz in 2017, and bronze in Are in 2019.
It's the American's 10th World Championship medal. Shiffrin had become the most-decorated skier from her country at the worlds Championships with her win in the Super Combined on Monday.
“It was a tough fight. It wasn’t an easy one, so I’m pretty psyched to get a medal today,” said Mikaela Shiffrin of her silver. “The second run had a lot more turns, which was a big change from the first run. In the past I didn’t adjust as well as I did today, so that was a big difference.”
"It's really fun to compete with her (Lara Gut) right now. She is so strong. She's been strong the whole world champs and really the whole season. It's really cool to watch her skiing and she's bringing this amazing attitude, every race taking the right risk and having really good skiing", said Shiffrin.
Katharina Liensberger of Austria took bronze (+0.09), setting the best time in the second run. It is her second medal in Cortina after her gold medal in the Parallel race.
“I’m completely surprised and really happy with my finish today,” said Liensberger. “I had a good first run, which put me in a good position, but to earn a medal today was unexpected for me (...) I was already lying on the snow, but I got up again anyway. I am super happy and grateful that I can experience this today. On Saturday I can focus solely on my skiing".