Courtesy of the U.S. Ski Team
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February 6, 2009 — VAL d'ISERE, France -- An apparent silver-medal finish in the super combined evaporated Friday as officials ruled that Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) missed a slalom gate at the 2009 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Val d'Isere. Kathrin Zettel of Austria won.
"It was a pretty frustrating day today. I had a good downhill run and I felt like I was in a position to do well," said Vonn, who was leading after the downhill portion. "I kept fighting and when I got to the finish I thought I was second and then I wasn't second. It was mixed emotions and a pretty disappointing day all in all."
Vonn went wide in a hairpin turn near the top of the course, but thought that she had executed the gate properly and continued to charge the course into an apparent silver medal position. It wasn't until after photographers had snapped the top three photo in the finish that Vonn was alerted about the disqualification. U.S. Ski Team coaches reviewed the run with the race jury and confirmed she had missed the gate.
"I thought I made it. Sometimes if you miss a gate in a hairpin or a flush you can go around the outside gate. I thought I did that, but I guess I was supposed to go through the other gate. I don't exactly know what I did wrong, but I thought I had it and apparently I didn't have it," Vonn said. "I was really frustrated and confused. To have thought you got a medal and then you then to have it taken away is pretty hard to take."
Stacey Cook (Mammoth, CA) hauled to seventh in the downhill, finishing 16th overall but giving her promise heading into Sunday's downhill.
"I was a little bit surprised by my time," Cook said "I just want to learn from what I did right and try and fix what I'm still doing wrong and hopefully I will put it all together on the downhill day."
Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) had trouble on the lower portion of the downhill and failed to finish. The 2006 Olympic giant slalom champion will now more her focus to the GS and will not race Sunday's downhill.
After Tuesday's World Championship performance in super G, Vonn told reporters that her goal for the two-week event was to win one gold medal and that everything else would be a bonus. With the fastest time in the last two downhill training run's Vonn moves into Sunday's race with her focus set on speed.
"I need to look at the video and see where I could have done it better for the next time," Vonn said. "I definitely still have more events that I can do well in, so I'm just going to try and get past today and look forward to the future."
Women's racing now turns to the downhill, which fans can catch live on UniversalSports.com at 7 a.m. ET. NBC will have same-day coverage of the men’s downhill on Saturday, Feb. 7 from 2:00-3:00 pm ET as well as same-day broadcast of the women’s downhill will be featured on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 3:00-4:30 pm ET.
"The downhill, now, is definitely my big motivation. I'm going to work hard and do everything I can to be on the podium in that race," Vonn said.
Multimedia: For photos from Val d'Isere click here. For audio and video from Val d'Isere click here.
2009 FIS ALPINE SKI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Val d'Isere, France - Feb. 6, 2009
Women's Super Combined
1. Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 2:20.13
2. Lara Gut, Switzerland, 2:20.69
3. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 2:21.01
4. Maria Riesch, Germany, 2:21.67
5. Marie Marchand-Arvier, France, 2:22.62
16. Stacey Cook, Mammoth, CA, 2:25.25
DNF1: Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA)
DNS2: Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, VT)
DQ2: Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO)
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