Alpine skiing-Italy's Brignone wins women's combined gold, Shiffrin disqualified

Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Women's Alpine Combined - Meribel, France - February 6, 2023 Italy's Federica Brignone celebrates on the podium with her team after winning the Women's Alpine Combined REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

MERIBEL, France (Reuters) -Italy's Federica Brignone won the women's combined event at the World Ski Championships in Meribel, France on Monday after two solid races saw her finish 1.62 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Wendy Holdener.

Brignone is now Italy's first women’s combined world title holder after claiming her first world championship gold.

Ricarda Haaser from Austria took third place.

"I did two really good runs, super-G and slalom. What was missing in my career was a gold medal and I am so, so excited and happy about today," Brignone said.

"I am really proud of how I concentrated and how my attitude was today in both runs, that was the most important (thing)."

American Mikaela Shiffrin, the reigning world champion in combined, was sixth fastest in the speed event but was disqualified in the slalom after straddling a gate shortly before the finish line.

"I am really happy with my skiing," Shiffrin said. "It’s just at the end, letting it go a little bit too much too soon, and then you don’t make it. It’s such a short distance between the gates and you can’t make an error like that. Of course, I know that and I did it anyway. I am happy with the run."

Brignone completed the super-G in 1:10.28, 0.71 seconds quicker than Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami and Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel who were joint second fastest, however the two speed specialists did not participate in the second leg.

Instead, it was 2017 and 2019 Alpine combined world champion, Switzerland's Holdener who won the slalom part, a fourth of second ahead of Brignone, but the overall margin was too big to threaten the 32-year-old.

"It couldn’t be better. I had no idea what had happened in the slalom for the first racers. I knew I had to give everything and I wasn’t sure if it was enough," Holdener said, adding that a second place was unbelievable.

The next women's event at the world championships will be the super-G on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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