Swiss favourite Lara Gut-Behrami finally launched the world championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo after three days of delays by powering to super-g gold.
It was sixth time lucky for Gut-Behrami, who finally landed her first world championship gold after three silvers and two bronzes.
After winning the last four World Cup super-g races in commanding fashion, the Swiss lived up to her billing as overwhelming favourite as she clocked 1 minute 25.51 seconds to beat teammate Corinne Suter by 0.34 seconds.
Defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, was third, 0.47 seconds behind Gut-Behrami.
“I wanted to show what I can do – and that a career is not only measured by a gold medal,” Gut-Behrami said.
“Today at the start I thought to myself, ‘if they had suggested to me years ago 30 World Cup victories or a gold medal – then I would have taken the 30 victories’.
“I have achieved so much in my life that it doesn’t depend on a medal.”
Shiffrin praised Gut-Behrami, saying “I think we all agree that Lara really deserved to win today. She has been the strongest in the entire season.”
“One year without a super-g race was not easy, I’m really happy with my skiing, just exactly how I wanted,” she added.
Shiffrin’s last super-g start saw her win in Bansko, Bulgaria, in January 2020, a few days before the death of her father.
The competitions in Cortina were supposed to start on Monday, but have been heavily affected by the weather. No race has taken place so far.
After the cancellations of two race days, the programme has been extensively changed.