Mikaela Shiffrin recorded her third DNF of the Winter Olympics as Michelle Gisin defended her combined crown in emphatic style.
The American was fifth after the downhill but was left shell-shocked in the slalom after seeing another event slip away before the finish line at Beijing 2022.
Gisin went on to win gold once again, finishing more than a second ahead of Swiss teammate Wendy Holdener as Federica Brignone won the bronze.
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Shiffrin had cast her participation for the remainder of the Games in doubt after recording DNFs in the slalom and giant slalom last week.
She cut a dejected figure and declared “what’s the point?” after the slalom, but after bouncing back to finish the super-G in ninth and the downhill in 18th, the American was looking to complete a major turnaround and win gold at a third straight Games.
That was not to be in the combined for the 2014 slalom and 2018 giant slalom champion, however, and she will look towards Saturday's team event as her final chance to win gold in China.
After loaning Sofia Goggia’s skis for the downhill – with the Italian leaving an inspirational note for the American – Shiffrin had said she was aiming to get past the sixth gate in an interview leading up to the slalom.
She was able to do that, seemingly exorcising her demons, but just seconds later she was down.

‘I don’t have a really good explanation!’ – Shiffrin after third DNF

“Shiffrin’s in the flow… there’s the mistake!” said Nick Fellows on Eurosport’s commentary. “Oh no, she’s done it again, that is the third time in these Winter Olympics that Shiffrin has gone down in the slalom discipline where she has won Olympic gold, the world championships, and 47 World Cup wins.
“She just cannot get it together on the ‘Ice River’ race piste here in Beijing.”
Emma Carrick-Anderson said on Eurosport’s commentary: “I’ve got no words there. That is incredible. So unusual. We thought she would be able to put it behind her and move forward. Obviously those demons were sitting in the back of her mind.”
Fellows added: “One the most successful and consistent slalom skiers in the history of our sport. And Shiffrin has got it all wrong again. She went past that fifth and sixth gate, the rhythm changed into the hairpin and she has thrown away what was a brilliant performance this morning.”
Footage showed Shiffrin being consoled by her coaching staff as the competition continued.

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The remaining athletes were looking to displace Ester Ledecka at the top of the leaderboard, and Brignone was the first to do so when posting a combined time of 2:27.52.
Swiss duo Gisin and Wendy Holdener followed, with the latter going down first and taking the lead with a 2:26.72.
That had nothing on Gisin’s stunning time, however, as she defended her Olympic crown in style when going 1.05 seconds quicker than her compatriot.
“She’s done it again!” Fellows said. “Gold in 2018, gold again surely in 2022, 1.05 seconds is a mile in ski racing. Her slalom was sensational from top to bottom. It’s Gisin who has stolen the show.”
The remaining contenders did not trouble the podium, making it a Swiss 1-2 as Italian Brignone took home the bronze.
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