Another delay at ski worlds holds up Shiffrin comeback

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin’s year-long break from super-G racing has been extended for at least two more days.

Bad weather wiped out the super-G at the Alpine skiing world championships on Tuesday as a persistent fog bank limited visibility on the top half of the Olympia delle Trofane course.

The FIS rescheduled the event for Thursday, further tightening the schedule at the worlds after all races on the opening three days have been postponed.

For Shiffrin, the 2019 world champion, it would have been her first race in the discipline since January last year when she won a World Cup super-G in Bulgaria and took a 10-month break from racing the following week.

After inspecting the course, Shiffrin said she felt confident despite the lack of recent race experience in super-G.

“For sure I’m missing going out of a race start,” the American said. “I want to ski well, I have a good plan, and I want to execute my plan and forget about everything else.”

Organizers first delayed the race indefinitely when the sun was still out on the lower part of the course.

They later decided to use a reserve start gate at the Duca d’Aosta jump lower down the mountain, shortening the 2.1-kilometer Olympia delle Trofane course by about 100 meters.

They called the race off 1 1/2 hours after its scheduled start as conditions failed to improve.

The coach of overall World Cup leader Petra Vlhova, Livio Magoni, believed organizers missed a chance to stage the race when the sun was still out.

“They waited too long before deciding to lower the start. They could have taken advantage of a small window when it was clear,” Magoni said.

Shiffrin was regarded as an outside contender to successfully defend her title. Lara Gut-Behrami was the favorite after the Swiss skier won the last four World Cup super-Gs.

Shiffrin said before the race was called off that she didn’t “really have any expectations. I have absolutely no idea where my skiing stacks up against any of the other girls. So all I can do is what I think will be good and fast and then we’ll see what everyone else does.”

The postponement came a day after the women’s combined was rescheduled for next Monday following heavy snowfall.

The men’s super-G had already been pushed back two days until Thursday, and will be held on the same day as the women’s race — as it was in the initial schedule.

The super-Gs will be the first races of the championships, since organizers also moved the men’s combined event from Wednesday to next Monday as more overnight snowfall was predicted.

Weather conditions were expected to vastly improve from Thursday, with lower temperatures and sunshine being forecast.

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AP Sports Writer Andrew Dampf contributed to this report.

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