Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, Krasnaya Polyana
Date Started: February 10, 2014
Date Finished: February 10, 2014
Format: One downhill and one slalom run, total time determined placement.
The women's Alpine skiing program in Sochi started with the Super Combined, which was held in this format (a downhill and one slalom run) for the second time after Vancouver. As with all Alpine skiing events in Sochi the competition took place in the [Rosa Khutor Alpine Center]. The downhill part was not shortened but held on exactly the same piste as the downhill race two days later. The last three winters saw only seven World Cup Super Combined events organized with only three different winners\: Tina Maze (3), Lindsey Vonn (2), and Maria Höfl-Riesch (2), with the Super Combined scheduled for Sochi in 2012 cancelled due to heavy snow. The reigning World champion from 2013 was Höfl-Riesch, while Anna Fenninger won in 2011 with Maze bringing home silver both times. This winter saw only one World Cup Super Combined, which was won by Marie-Michèle Gagnon in Austrian Zauchensee, but with a Super G instead of a downhill, which favors technical skiiers. As Vonn was unable to compete after tearing her right ACL twice in 2013 (the first time at the World Championships in Schladming), the only two big favorites left were Maze and Höfl-Riesch.
Skiing first in the downhill phase Italian Francesca Marsaglia set a time of 1:43.96 and held onto the lead until the seventh skier to start, [Lotte Smiseth Sejersted] (NOR), produced a best time of 1:43.85. Lara Gut (SUI), arguably more of a downhill and Super G specialist, then produced a leading time of 1:43.15 to give herself a chance to medal. The only skier to better this time was Julia Mancuso (USA) who skied the course in 1:42.68. Defending champion, Maria Höfl-Riesch (GER), produced a time of 1:43.72 for fifth place and keep her chances of a medal open.
With the top 30 going in reverse order, Šárka Strachová (CZE) was to produce the fastest slalom run of 50.10 seconds, but a 25th place in the downhill section meant she finished ninth overall. Michaela Kirchgasser (AUT), more of a slalom specialist, produced the second quickest slalom for a combined time of 2:36.41, and led as several skiers came in behind her – eventually she would finish seventh. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) and Dominique Gisin (SUI) briefly held the overall lead, until Austrian Nicole Hosp produced a fine run to give her an overall time of 2:35.02. She held onto the lead until Höfl-Riesch produced the third fastest slalom, to take the overall lead with 2:34.62. Gut tried to put in a performance, but was unable to finish the course, so leaving Mancuso the last of the medal contenders. Although only 13th fastest in the slalom, this was enough to give her a combined time of 2:35.15 for the bronze medal.
The first six finishers represented six different nations. As the day before in the men's downhill, ski manufacturer Head won gold (Höfl-Riesch) and bronze (Mancuso), while Hosp earned silver with Fischer. Höfl-Riesch defended her title and followed in the footsteps of Janica Kostelić who won this event in 2002 and 2006. In total Höfl-Riesch became the sixth Alpine skier (and fourth women) to defend a gold medal.
|3||Julia Mancuso||29||United States||USA||Bronze||2:35.15|
|9||Šárka Záhrobská-Strachová||28||Czech Republic||CZE||2:36.61|
|19||Klára Křížová||24||Czech Republic||CZE||2:42.40|
|20||Macarena Simari Birkner||29||Argentina||ARG||2:43.93|
|AC||Laurenne Ross||25||United States||USA||DNF|
|AC||Stacey Cook||29||United States||USA||DNF|
|AC||Chemmy Alcott||31||Great Britain||GBR||DNF|
|AC||Leanne Smith||26||United States||USA||DNF|