Ilka Štuhec bags her tenth World Cup victory in downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo, 21 January - Ilka Štuhec is the winner of a World Cup downhill event for women held in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Saturday. This is her tenth World Cup victory and her sixth in downhill. Norwegian Kajsa Vickhoff Lie was second and Italian Elena Curtoni third.

Slovenian Alpine skier Ilka Štuhec.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Štuhec clocked 1:04.73 minutes with the Norwegian 0.26 seconds behind and the Italian 0.34 seconds.

The champion from Maribor finished second in the downhill race in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Friday. Skiing on an injured ankle, she was only 0.13 seconds slower than the winner, Sofia Goggia from Italy. German Kira Weidle was third.

Goggia, the leading downhill skier of the season, fell today just before Štuhec's start, but this did not distract the Slovenian, who bagged her first victory in World Cup in more than four years.

"After four years and some I'm at the top again ... I simply felt today is the day, that I'm ready, that I know exactly what to do, that all I need to do is relay, attack and enjoy it, which added up in the end," she said after the event.

"I'm really very very happy. I don't know what other emotions I'd name. It's all an excellent reward. I want to thank my support team, [ski producer] Kästle, my fans, everyone really who has stood by me when the whole world did not yet know I could be number one again," she added.

A giant slalom event is scheduled on Sunday. Štuhec won in this discipline in Cortina in January 2017.

Štuhec is the second best downhill skier of the season, boasting 372 points. Overall, she jumped to the tenth place with 388 points, which is more than she won in the last two seasons combined.

Having bagged six downhill victories in World Cup events for women, Štuhec is now a record holder in Slovenia, as Tina Maze won four downhill events. But overall, Maze still holds the record of 26 World Cup victories.

Štuhec boasts 12 podium finishes in downhill, one more than Maze.

Recently, Štuhec parted ways with her Swiss coach Stefan Abplanalp and now her mother Darja Črnko is her head coach and the team head.

She seems confident ahead of the Alpine Ski World Championships to be held in Courchevel Méribel in February. She was world champion in downhill in 2017 and 2019.

© STA, 2023