GOLD for Goergl! Bronze for Riesch
It was an awesome display of fearless and tactical skiing by Lizz Goergl as she powered out the start hut to claim the first Gold of the World Championships on her HEAD skis. Although the course was almost completely in the shade, Goergl attacked the course and “raced as fast as I could!” The race started out well for HEAD with Anna Fenninger taking an early lead before Goergl blitzed the course. At one stage HEAD racers held all three podiums position with Goergl, Maria Riesch and Fenninger. Maria Riesch was delighted with her third place as she overcame the local hometown favourite tag and took the pressure off herself with an early medal, one that she admitted she did not think she would get.
The hard and icy conditions were very tricky and Lindsey Vonn had been vocal in her dislike of the conditions before the race. Maria Riesch summer up the conditions by saying in the press conference that “hey these are the World Championships,” when asked about them herself. Many of the racers struggled with the visibly icy and bumpy conditions coupled with the flat light.
While Fenninger was disappointed to be so close to the podium again (she finished fourth in 2009), she realised that she had made a few mistakes in the lower section and this cost her time. As first of the top seeds, Goergl was happy to be “able to show what she could do,” she admitted afterwards. Goergl felt that the conditions allowed her to ski “how I like to ski: with power and aggression.” In the leadup to the races, Goergl had been testing equipment heavily and as soon as she started on her run, she knew that the choice of boots that she had tested was the right one.
As one by one of the top seeds failed to better her time, Goergl’s childhood dream of hearing the Austrian National Anthem playing for her came closer and closer. A scare from Julia Mancuso had her sighing with relief but as neither Riesch nor Vonn, the two big favourites prior to the race could better her time, Goergl was able to add World Champion to her list of accomplishments!
In the finish she told herself that she had done all she could. Having sung the opening song the night before at the Opening Ceremony Goergl felt that this may have given her the relaxation needed prior to the race.
For Maria Riesch the fact that Lindsey Vonn still had to come down and she was in third, had her trembling as Vonn got ready. Riesch admitted that her heart rate was probably as high watching Vonn come down as it had been while she was racing! No one wants to come fourth when medals are at stake! While this lefts the pressure for a medal off her and this was “one goal reached,” Riesch is still gunning for more and is still very motivated.
For Lindsey Vonn the effects of her crash prior to the races are still affecting her yet she fought her way into seventh place despite finding it hard to concentrate and her head not thinking quick enough.
WORLD CHAMPION: Lizz Goergl (AUT) HEAD
Silver: Julia Mancuso
BRONZE : Maria Riesch (GER) HEAD
5th Anna Fenninger (AUT) HEAD
7TH Lindsey Vonn (USA) HEAD
10th Anja Paerson (SWE) HEAD
30th Alexandra Coletti (MON) HEAD