Katharina Liensberger will leave the 2021 World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo as the new star of the sport. On Saturday, the Vorarlberg woman added slalom gold to her parallel world championship title and clearly outperformed Petra Vlhova and Mikaela Shiffrin. The 23-year-old has never led a race in the World Cup. However, women’s racing director Christian Mitter was skeptical about a possible permanent changing of the guard in slalom.
Liensberger, who narrowly missed her first World Cup victory several times, distanced Vlhova from Slovakia by a full second in Hirscher style and was 1.98 seconds ahead of defending champion Shiffrin. “It’s really unbelievable that I can experience that. The moment to cross the finish line and really be a second ahead is so valuable because I know what I’ve done for it and how many people support me,” announced the double world champion, who also surprisingly won bronze in the giant slalom in Cortina.
“I knew what my plan was and what I had to do, what my job was. It is skiing with enthusiasm and heart. Of course you notice a lot on the side, and yet it is important to ignore it all and focus on it Focusing on the essentials. I definitely succeeded in doing that, “added Liensberger, who was able to enjoy many compliments from the competition. “It wasn’t enough of me because Katharina was really fast. She drove perfectly,” said Vlhova, who was in the lead in the overall and slalom World Cup.
With two gold medals and one bronze medal, Liensberger is the most successful athlete at the World Championships, together with Lara Gut-Behrami from Switzerland, who won gold in giant slalom and Super-G, and bronze in the downhill. “Sounds good, yes,” said the patroness. Shiffrin has four medals, more than any other, but she only got gold in the Alpine Combined. “
The re was no scenario today in which I would have made more than bronze,” she clarified.
Mitter was particularly pleased that Liensberger had delivered a favorite victory. “You know that she has what it takes,” he emphasized. How so young athletes react, “when they are up there at a World Cup, you never really know. But I thought so, because they just trust their technique and their skiing.” Liensberger “just does the right thing physically. She stands well against it, she gets the ski going.” In addition, she has the mental abilities that are needed to be at the very front.
“It is very seldom possible to practice such a situation. But the next thing is the World Cup. Since it has already shown that it can do it,” explained Mitter. “In the end, the one who has practiced the most is always the best. If you enjoy doing something, then practice the most and do it the most, then you will be good at it too.”
He was unable to answer whether Liensberger’s World Cup victory was synonymous with a new hierarchy in the world of women’s slalom. “It all goes so quickly. When I look at Andreja Slokar (fifth place; note), who already pressed unconditionally on Semmering, then another one follows. So you can never say that there is now a long dominance “said Mitter. “Today it is like once that she dominated the race. Now let’s see what can be done even better, because everything wasn’t perfect either.”