The weather has often been a focal point during the 2019 World Championships, with everything from heavy rain, high-speed winds, glorious sunshine and blizzard-level snowfall making a show over the last thirteen days. Yesterdays Women’s Slalom event saw most of these conditions appear in one day, but fortunately this did not deter the fans or competitors.
Sweden had identified the Women’s Slalom event as their best chance at winning a medal. But in a championship where their Scandinavian compatriots Norway have soared, Sweden has been a tad lacklustre and are without a medal.
So the pressure was certainly on, and the capacity crowd full of fans donned with flags and facepaint made this even more apparent.
Frida Hansdotter, Anna Swenn-Larsson, Charlotta Säfvenberg and Ylva Stålnacke were competing for the home nation and after the first run, both Hansdotter and Swenn-Larsson were in contention for a medal, sitting sixth and second respectively.
Wendy Holdener led after the first heat with Mikaela Shiffrin completing the podium.
Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter was first to go out of the leading pack. But the Olympic champion was unable to put together a cohesive run, producing a time only fast enough for fifth.
Wendy Holdener was unable to capitalise on her first run lead after clipping a gate early on, causing her to lose valuable time and drop to 17th place overall.
Shiffrin posted a strong second time, despite struggling with a cold, and managed to secure her fourth slalom World Championship gold medal. Anna Swenn-Larsson managed to secure silver overall, bringing home the first medal of the World Championships for hosts Sweden. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova moved up from fifth after the first run to third overall, enough for the bronze medal.
Shiffrin was pleased that the hosts secured a medal and commented after the race “Watching Anna’s run from the finish with the crowd cheering was something special. Everyone wanted her to win a medal, we all did, because she is so kind and a really amazing skier and she’s done some impressive things this season. I really think she deserves that medal“.
The podium standings were as followed:
- SHIFFRIN Mikaela (USA) – 1:57.050
- SWENN-LARSSON Anna (SWE) – 1:57.630
- VLHOVA Petra (SVK) – 1:58.081
Sunday marks the end of Åre 2019. We will post our usual roundup shortly along with coverage of the final event, the men’s slalom.