Sofia Goggia is not known for her elegant style. But the bubbly 25-year-old kept her poise to clinch the women’s downhill gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Moving, as she put it, like a “samurai”, the Italian beat Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel and American Lindsey Vonn in a winning time of 1 minute 39.22 seconds.
“I was really focused, I moved like a samurai,” Goggia told the media. “Usually I’m really chaotic but I wanted to take in every little detail, every particular in the morning. I believed in myself.
“Samurai are really perfect. They move with elegance. I’m not elegant but I paid attention at every moment to what I was doing,” she added.
Mowinckel was just 0.09 secs behind Goggia after a blistering final run. But for Vonn, it was another heart-breaking performance after finishing sixth in the Super G on Saturday.
She won the downhill gold in Vancouver eight years ago and was hoping for a repeat performance after missing the chance to defend her title in Sochi in 2014 because of injury.
“I gave it my all today, skied a great race,” she said. “But Sofia just skied better than I did. It was tough to contemplate this being my last Olympic downhill.
“I struggled to try to keep the emotions together, but I left it all on the mountain like I said I would,” she added with tears in her eyes. “I skied really well, but I think Sofia is untouchable today.”
Leman grabs ski cross title
Canada’s Brady Leman edged out Switzerland’s Marc Bischofberger to claim victory in a dramatic men’s Olympic ski cross final.
Sergey Ridzik, representing the Olympic Athlete from Russia, ended up with the bronze medal, despite colliding with Canada’s Kevin Drury.
“It feels unbelievable,” Leman told the media. “It was a crazy day with some tough racing and so it is amazing to come out on top at these Games.”
The 31-year-old finished fourth in Sochi four years ago after crashing in the final and he hopes fellow countryman Drury can do something similar in Beijing in 2022.
“We showed we battled hard today, Team Canada. Right now we are the best nation in the world in ski cross and have been for a couple of years,” Leman said.
“I wish Kevin could have been with me on the podium but maybe next time he can have the same feeling that I do now after being fourth in Sochi,” he added.
Britain knock out Canada in curling
Team GB created a sensation by reaching the semi-finals of the women’s curling tournament after knocking out the world and defending champions Canada. The British women edged home 6-5 after securing the points in the final end.
They will now face double gold medalists and Sochi runners-up Sweden after they beat China 8-4.
“Our goal was to book our spot in the semi-finals and we’re delighted with that,” Eve Muirhead, who skippered the British team, told the BBC.
– with Reuters and AFP