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Ladies' Combined: Wendy Holdener beats Petra Vlhova by 0.03s to take Combined gold

Holdener beats Vlhova by 0.03s to take Combined gold

08/02/2019 at 15:54Updated 08/02/2019 at 22:16

Wendy Holdener defended her World Championship Combined title on Friday as she edged out Petra Vlhova by 0.03s.

Holdener finished fifth in the Downhill earlier in the day with Vlhova sitting joint eighth with Lindsey Vonn, who used the early stage as a training run for Sunday's event.

Canada's Roni Remme set a blistering run of 48.58 in the Slalom and when Vlhova ran her close with 48.73 it looked as if the Slovakian might have secured gold.

Video - Vlhova piles pressure on Holdener with brilliant Slalom run

01:30

However, Holdener responded with a run of 49.00 dead which was enough to give her the lead over Vlhova by just 0.03s.

Video - Holdener defends Combined world title following brilliant ski

01:42

Ragnhild Mowinckel and Ramona Siebenhofer finished second and first respectively in the Downhill but they were unable to catch Holdener and had to settle for third and fourth.

Video - Mowinckel: I don’t ski slalom enough so I am super happy

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It means Holdener defends her title from St Moritz in 2017 and is just the fifth skier to win successive Combined titles, whilst Vlhova wins Slovakia's first individual medal at the World Championships.

"Finally I could put two good runs together and bring home the victory. It's the right time,” Holdener said afterwards.

Eurosport expert Bode Miller was full of praise for Holdener and her technique.

Wendy Holdener of Switzerland competes during the FIS World Ski Championships Women's Alpine Combined on February 8, 2019 in Are Sweden.

Wendy Holdener of Switzerland competes during the FIS World Ski Championships Women's Alpine Combined on February 8, 2019 in Are Sweden.Getty Images

“I’m sure she would say it was a little bit of luck, she was pretty close to a couple of the gates on the second run. The course held up great and the snow is in great condition but there was some deterioration and there was a couple right after the first interval where she kind of wobbled but she’s super balanced and she really is a dynamic slalom skier.

" She has no faults in her technique or tactics at all and I love the way she skied, not a lot of risk at all, no real errors, a couple little close calls."

Former World Championship gold medallist Tina Maze, who is also working as an expert for Eurosport was impressed with the speed all the skiers showed.

“It was great to see the Slalom skiers skiing fast in the Downhill so I knew it would be an interesting second run but I was very surprised how fast they could ski on this slope and they showed good technique."

DOWNHILL REPORT

Ramona Sibernhofer will take a narrow lead into the slalom section of the ladies' Combined event at the World Skiing Championship in Åre, after topping the times in the Downhill.

Favourites Wendy Holdener and Petra Vlhova are also in good positions while Olympic Downhill champion Ilka Stuhec was just 0.01secs behind Siebenhofer - who clocked a time of 1:12.71secs - in second and Ragnhild Mowinckel was a further 0.05 back in third.

Video - Siebenhofer takes top time by 0.01secs in Downhill run of Combined

01:27

Lindsey Vonn initially went top after her run, despite sporting a black eye from her terrible crash in the Super-G earlier in the week, but slowly slipped down the leaderboard to eighth.

Video - Vonn all smiles after 'training run' in Combined

01:58

"It was OK. I was definitely really stiff out of the start," Vonn, sporting a black eye from Tuesday's crash, told Eurosport. "I've been having some rib problems, my rib's out.

" From the first jump down it was pretty decent and it was a good test for me because this is obviously a race for the other girls and it's good to see kind of where I stack up."

"I have another gear left to go and I'm just going to rest tomorrow and be ready for Sunday," said the 34-year-old.

Sunday's downhill will be the final race of the former Olympic champion's career after she announced her retirement last week.

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