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Alpine Ski World Championships 2023: Frederica Brignone wins combined gold – Mikaela Shiffrin is eliminated


Mikaela Shiffrin was the big favorite. Then she threads it, evoking memories of Beijing. Frederica Brignone was probably the last world champion in the unloved combination, Emma Aicher caught up strongly.

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Consolation from the winner: Frederica Brignone spoke well to Mikaela Shiffrin


IMAGO/GEPA pictures/ Daniel Goetzhaber / IMAGO/GEPA pictures

It starts again:

Mikaela Shiffrin did not drive the best slalom of her season from above.

Again and again she slipped away easily, her playful security was not to be seen.

And yet she set an impressive pace, getting closer to the Italian Frederica Brignone, who was leading after the Super-G, from time to time.

Eight tiny hundredths were just before the finish, then Shiffrin's skis suddenly flew through the air and the American threaded the third to last goal.

In the finish area, mother Eileen covered her face with her hands.

The result:

Brignone won the first gold at the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2023. After super-G and slalom in Méribel, she was 1.62 seconds ahead of Wendy Holdener from Switzerland and 2.26 seconds ahead of Ricarda Haaser from Austria.

Surely that can't be true:

after Shiffrin's threader, memories of the drama in Beijing are awakened.

A year ago she was eliminated from the Olympic Games in both slalom and giant slalom and cried bitterly.

"My performance in China is always a bit on my mind," she admitted before the World Cup.

Shiffrin and major events?

A difficult relationship at the moment.

She still has at least two chances of gold.

Combined world champion she will probably never again.

Living Fossil:

The competition to find the best all-rounder is about to end.

Combinations have disappeared from the World Cup for two years, and there will be none at the 2026 Olympic Games either.

It's hard to imagine that Fis only sticks to this format at world championships.

The burden of tradition:

The combination is the archetype of ski racing.

In 1936, at the Nazi Games, alpine skiing was part of the Olympic program for the first time.

A competition was scheduled: the combination.

Christl Cranz got the win.

It's been a long time.

Who else cares?

Since then, interest in this competition has continued to dwindle.

The format was changed umpteen times, the result almost always remained the same.

Usually the slalom aces have won.

The significantly more sluggish downhill skiers often lose more time in the pole forest than they can do in the downhill or Super-G.

The fan interest is manageable, even in Méribel many seats remained empty.

Not boring at all:

The start of the World Cup showed that a combination can also be exciting.

Brignone led after the Super-G, behind them were some speed specialists who weren't too trustworthy in the slalom.

It came down to a duel between slalom queen Shiffrin and Brignone, who was particularly successful in super-G and giant slalom.

Shiffrin was just under a second behind after the Super-G in sixth place.

She also nibbled diligently – until the penultimate goal.

And so Brignone cheered, not a slalom specialist.


Brignone crowns her great career with the world title.

The 32-year-old won the overall World Cup once, but was still waiting for the big individual title.

So far she has been on the podium once at the World Championships: in 2011, in the giant slalom in Garmisch.

Just behind long-retired Tina Maze.

It's worth sticking with.

The questions of the others:

Brignone was accordingly happy afterwards.

"It was my perfect day," she said.

»Everyone asked me if I still win gold.« She answered this question impressively.

Relaxed training:

many top drivers are fed up with the dying competition.

Only 33 runners were registered.

Some of them also abused the combination as training for the Super-G on Wednesday and no longer competed in the slalom.

Among them greats like Sofia Goggia and Lara Gut-Behrami.


Emma Aicher was one who pulled through.

She's made for a combination: She started the season in the technical disciplines, things weren't really progressing there, so they packed her with the speed riders.

On the descent in St. Moritz, she finished 15th, after which the slalom went well again.

Before the World Championships, she belonged to the extended group of medal contenders.

Still time:

The Swedish-born racer is by far the greatest talent in the German team.

But only 19 years old.

At the end of January she started at the Junior World Championships.

In the Super-G combination she started with the number 1 and showed a shy ride.

In a nutshell:

Aicher is not a woman of great speeches.

Was her appearance in the Super-G to be restrained?

"Yes." Then she laughed.

Aicher knows that she can do better.

And showed that in the slalom when she worked her way up from 23rd to eighth place.

Is she happy?


Here's how it goes on

: On Tuesday, the men start the World Cup.

In Courchevel, local hero Alexis Pinterault is one of the favorites for gold.

The German starters Simon Jocher, Andreas Sander and Romed Baumann rather not.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-02-06

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