What an impressive performance by Katharina Liensberger today in Cortina. The 23-year-old Austrian has set the best time in both Slalom runs to finish clearly ahead of Petra Vhlova and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Katharina Liensberger is the first Austrian woman to reach the world championship podium in the Slalom since Michaela Kirchgasser (silver) in 2013. The last Austrian to win the women's slalom world title was Marlies Schild in 2011.
Liensberger claimed three medals at these championships: bronze in the Giant Slalom and gold in the Parallel Giant Slalom (shared with Marta Bassino) and in Slalom. The last Austrian woman to grab three world championship medals in one year was Anna Veith (3) in 2015.
Austria has won 9 gold medals and a total of 25 medals in the Women's Slalom at the world championships.
"There are so many people in the background working for me. I can just say thank you so much, from all of my heart. Thank you so much to everyone who always helps me, the whole team that does so much for me. I am just the one that shows it", said Liensberger on winning the gold medal.
“It is unbelievable that I am ahead by one second (...) In the race it felt like flying a little bit, just getting faster with every gate and putting all the energy into each turn", she said.
"I really, really wanted the gold medal, especially in slalom – it was so often so near and so close and [my] first time on the leader board after the first run and now I won this race and it means so much to me. It’s amazing that it all comes back. If you really want something, the whole universe does something I think for you. It’s just amazing and I’m so glad that I could show that today", Liensberger added.
Petra Vhlova finished in second place 1.00 second behind the Austrian.
Petra Vlhová is the only skier representing Slovakia to have won world championship medals in individual events (G1-S3-B1). One of those was a bronze medal in the Slalom in Are in 2019.
"Of course I wanted more, maybe to take gold today because I feel good in slalom but it was not enough today because Katharina, she was really fast. She skied perfectly today. So, I am happy with my silver medal", Vlhova said.
Mikaela Shiffrin ended in third place +1.98 behind Liensberger. Mikaela Shiffrin is now tied with Christel Cranz (G4-S1-B0) as the ones with the most medals in the Women's Slalom.
Only three women have collected more world championship medals than Shiffrin: Cranz (15), Anja Pärson (13).
Mikaela Shiffrin claimed four medals at these championships: gold in the Alpine combined, silver in the Giant Slalom, bronze in the super-G, and bronze in Slalom.
Four women have also achieved 4 world championship medals in one year: Marielle Goitschel (4 in 1966), Rosi Mittermaier (4 in 1976), Hanni Wenzel (4 in 1980), and Anja Pärson (4 in 2007).
"[To win] four medals is incredible this world champs but it’s even more special to see the level of skiing that’s here right now and that everybody’s trying to push, and that’s really cool", Shiffrin said.
Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener finished fourth while Slovenia’s Andreja Solkar produced the shock performance of the day to jump from 17th after the opening run to finish fifth overall.