Tina Maze becomes oldest women’s World champion; Lindsey Vonn 5th

2 Comments

Tina Maze captured the World Championships downhill, relegating Lindsey Vonn to fifth place in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Friday.

Maze, 31, became the oldest woman to win Worlds gold in an individual race. She bagged her second medal in as many events this week, after taking silver in the super-G on Tuesday. The Slovenian could become the first woman to win five medals at a single World Championships.

“I knew I could do this [win five medals],” Maze, who raced with words to the Slovenian national anthem on her suit, said in a press conference. “I knew that before I came here. Of course, it’s in my mind, but thinking about it, it makes no sense. You have to go day by day.”

Maze, the co-Sochi Olympic downhill champion, prevailed by .02 of a second over Austrian Anna Fenninger, who won the super-G on Tuesday. Swiss Lara Gut took bronze, .34 back.

Maze repeated Friday that she will consider retirement after this season, July to be specific. She said at the Sochi Olympics that she would not continue to the 2018 Winter Games, which would have been her fifth.

“I don’t feel old at all,” Maze said. “Of course, I’m one of the oldest, but I feel full of energy. I was never injured, that’s my big thing.”

Vonn was 1.05 behind, shrugging her shoulders after crossing the finish after taking super-G bronze. (full results here)

“I didn’t have the greatest feeling on the snow, couldn’t get things going,” Vonn, who has won three of six World Cup downhills this season, said on NBCSN. “It’s unfortunate. I wish I could have done better today for the hometown crowd.”

Vonn recorded her worst result in a World Championships downhill.

She earned gold in 2009, silver in 2007 and 2011 and was fourth in 2005. Vonn, whose last gold medal was in the 2010 Olympic downhill, missed the 2013 World Championships downhill due to injury.

The World Championships continue with the men’s downhill Saturday. Vonn’s next race is expected to be the super combined Monday. Vonn said she hasn’t skied slalom in about 2 1/2 years.

“Maybe in the combined I can pull off a miracle,” Vonn joked to media.

World Championships broadcast schedule

Bode Miller leaning toward retirement