Puchner takes shock downhill win as Vonn collects title
Updated: 2016-03-17 10:06
Saint Moritz - Austrian Mirjam Puchner won the final women's World Cup downhill of the season in Saint Moritz on Wednesday, as an injured Lindsey Vonn collected her discipline title.
Fabienne Suter of Switzerland, Mirjam Puchner of Austria and Elena Curtoni of Italy react at the victory ceremony of the Women’s Downhill race St. Moritz, Switzerland March 16, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
Puchner, 23, had never finished higher than eighth before in a World Cup downhill, but she flew down the piste in just 1 min 40.93sec to beat Swiss home hope Fabienne Suter by 13 hundredths of a second with Italy's Elena Curtoni third.
Already assured of the overall crystal globe after passing the sidelined Vonn, Lara Gut finished down in 13th place.
"I'm blown away by this success because I really had no reference point aside from a title at the Austrian championships in 2015. It's indescribable how it feels on the top step of the podium," said Puchner.
Vonn had already clinched her eighth downhill title in nine years prior to her crash at last month's super-G in Andorra.
"It's a little bittersweet for me today," the American told fis-ski.com. "Naturally I'm really happy to win the globe, but to watch as a spectator and not race is really hard."
Vonn holds a 19-point lead over Gut in the super-G standings ahead of Thursday's final race in Switzerland.