Alpine skiing-Goggia prevails in Cortina downhill after Zauchensee scare

FILE PHOTO: Alpine Skiing - Ski World Cup - Women's Giant Slalom - Soelden, Austria - October 23, 2021 Italy's Sofia Goggia reacts after her second run REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

(Reuters) - Italy's Olympic champion Sofia Goggia swept the competition in the women's World Cup downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Saturday, claiming her sixth World Cup victory this season ahead of Austria's Ramona Siebenhofer and Czech Ester Ledecka.

Goggia, the favourite to retain her title at the Beijing Olympics next month, finished in one minute 6.98 seconds at her home event.

"When I saw the snow coming towards me and the wind bending the poles and sheets, I got worried. When I realised that I was first, my heart exploded," Goggia said.

The 29-year-old, who continues to lead the downhill rankings and is third in overall World Cup standings, did not finish last week's race in Zauchensee, Austria, after she lost control and hit the red safety netting at high speed.

Siebenhofer, second in the downhill classification, was 0.20 seconds behind Goggia, while Ledecka claimed her first podium of the season, finishing 0.26 off the pace in third.

The women are scheduled to return for a super-G race at the Italian resort on Sunday and will continue to compete for points on Jan. 29 and 30 in Germany's Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the last downhill and super-G World Cup events before the Winter Games.

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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