MERIBEL, France (AP) — Swiss skier Jasmine Flury won gold in the women’s downhill at the world championships Saturday on a rough day for the pre-race favorites.
Flury edged Austrian skier Nina Ortlieb by 0.04 seconds for her first career medal at major championships.
Flury has won one World Cup race in her career — a super-G in her native Switzerland more than five yeas ago — but had no previous top-10 result from 10 starts at worlds and Olympics.
Swiss teammate Corinne Suter came 0.12 behind to take bronze. Suter was the defending champion and won Olympic gold a year ago.
Austrians Cornelia Huetter, who bronze in Wednesday's super-G, and Mirjam Puchner shared fourth place, 0.25 off the lead.
Sofia Goggia was disqualified after skiing through a gate.
The 2018 Olympic champion from Italy, who won four of the six downhills on the World Cup circuit this season, was 0.15 behind Flury but made up time in the more turny second half of the Roc de Fer course.
She slightly lost balance on her outside right ski, then went with her left ski through a gate. She narrowly avoided falling and finished her run in third position, but was disqualified.
Goggia had led two of the three trainings this week, most notably Friday, when she was nearly a half second faster than any other racer.
The Italian ski team had won both women's races at the worlds, with Federica Brignone taking gold in the combined and Marta Bassino winning the super-G.
Other skiers tipped as gold candidates finished well behind.
Lara Gut-Behrami, the 2016 overall World Cup champion who has 11 medals from major events, was ninth. Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel was 10th, and Austria's Stephanie Venier seventh after leading one of the trainings this week.
Mikaela Shiffrin sat out the race, three days after winning silver in super-G. The American was expected back at the worlds for the giant slalom on Thursday.
Top American downhill Breezy Johnson went down and slid off the course halfway through her run, but got up and skied down without apparent injury.
The Roc de Fer course has a steep start, where racers accelerate to over 100 kph (62 mph) in less than eight seconds. The second part of the track has more turns and requires technical skills to stay on the race line amid many rolls and bumps.
There were a few sparse clouds when the race started, then it cleared up and the sun started beaming down on the course, which has only one brief section in the shade.
The sunshine seemed to weaken the course and slowed racers who started after the first 10, with most of them already a few tenths off the lead at the second split about 30 seconds into their run.
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