Lindsey Vonn placed fifth in the world championships super combined on Friday, while Swiss Wendy Holdener and Michelle Gisin gave the hosts a one-two finish in St. Moritz.
Vonn finished an Olympics or worlds super combined for the first time in 12 years, an encouraging result going into her final event at worlds, the downhill on Sunday (6 a.m. ET, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).
“I think it’s a lot better than most people thought I would do,” Vonn said. “I may not have skied slalom in over a year, but I still know how to ski slalom. I’m not that bad. I have won slalom World Cups in my career. … All things considered, I did a pretty good job.”
She had failed to complete the slalom portion of the event in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015 and also skied out of her first race this week, the super-G on Tuesday.
Vonn was sixth-fastest in the morning downhill, but, skiing with her injured right hand taped to her ski pole, moved up in the afternoon slalom, her weakest discipline, to finish .85 behind Holdener.
Vonn has finished a slalom in competition just three times in the last four years, all in combined races.
“It was definitely difficult, but, I mean, I grew up skiing slalom in Minnesota,” Vonn said on NBCSN. “So I figured I had some good muscle memory, and I charged it. I hit a gate on my face on, like, the third gate, but I think on the bottom part I skied really well. So I’m really happy with it. Fifth is OK. I’d rather be fifth than fourth, but I’d also rather be on the podium.”
Holdener beat countrywoman Gisin by .05, with Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser taking bronze.
“Can it get any better and more amazing in front of the home crowd, I don’t think so,” Gisin said.
They marked the first world medals for Holdener and Gisin. Kirchgasser has now earned individual medals at three straight worlds.
Swiss Lara Gut, one of the pre-race favorites, ruptured an ACL falling in slalom warm-up after placing third in the morning downhill.Follow @nzaccardi