LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (Reuters) - Switzerland’s Martina Schild put down an error-free run while the favorites faltered to claim the season-opening super-G and her first career Alpine World Cup race win on Sunday.
Schild, the 2006 Olympic downhill silver medalist, charged her way down the men’s Olympic course on another bitterly cold day in the Canadian Rockies in a winning time of one minute, 16.21 seconds.
Germany’s Maria Riesch, a downhill winner in Lake Louise last season, settled for second in 1:16.41 while Sweden’s Jessica Lindell-Vikarby made her first visit to the podium, taking third in 1:16.63.
It marked the first time since 2002 that an Austrian had not been crowned the winner of the Lake Louise super-G.
”Last season was really hard because after Olympic medal everyone wanted to see me all the time on the podium,“ said Schild, who is carrying on a family tradition with her grandmother having been the 1948 Olympic downhill champion. ”Now it is nice to see I can do it again.
”My family and friends are going to have a big party now because it is a big thing for me.
”For all of us it is good because we are all strong skiers but we can never show it.
”It was really nice course, one where you can risk everywhere and I told myself I had to take this risk.
“Some risked too much.”
American Lindsey Kildow-Vonn and Austria’s Renate Goetschl, who finished one-two in Saturday’s downhill and between them have nine victories at the Canadian resort, both failed to reach the finish line.
Kildow-Vonn, going for the weekend double after winning the downhill for the fourth straight year, skidded off course midway through her run, smashing hard into the safety netting.
The American remained motionless for several minutes as officials rushed to her, but skied down under her own power after sustaining a bruised hip.
Goetschl, five times a winner in Lake Louise including last year’s super G, missed a gate and did not post a time.
“It was a really fast course and you had to be alert all the time,” said Lindell-Vikarby. “But I‘m so happy. It’s a big relief. I’ve been on the World Cup for five seasons now so I think it was time to do it.”
Despite earning just a single point from the two weekend races, Austria’s Marlies Schild continues to top the overall standings with 263 points followed by team mate and defending overall champion Nicole Hosp on 226.
The women’s circuit now moves to Aspen for three races, a downhill, super G and slalom.
Editing by Trevor Huggins