Corinne Suter wins women's downhill title at world championships
Marie-Michèle Gagnon 13th in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy; men's downhill Sunday
Corinne Suter ended Switzerland's 32-year wait for a women's downhill world title on Saturday, winning her fourth straight medal at a major championship but the first gold.
"It's for sure a huge step," Suter said from Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy about her first gold. "I am so, so happy because all the hard work in the last years paid off today."
Suter's teammate Lara Gut-Behrami led for most of her run, but two costly mistakes saw her drop to third, earning bronze in 1:34.64 after she had beaten Suter to gold in Thursday's super-G.
WATCH | Switzerland's Suter captures her 1st world title:
Olympic super-G champion Ester Ledecka missed the podium by seven-hundredths in fourth.
Canada's Marie-Michèle Gagnon clocked 1:35.49, 1.22 seconds behind Suter for 13th place following a sixth-place performance in the super-G on Thursday.
The top favourite for gold, Sofia Goggia, missed the race after the Italian suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago.
Suter believed her second place in the worlds opener helped her believe she could win gold in downhill two days later.
31-year title drought for Swiss
"I started with a silver medal in super-G. That was already amazing for me. I always knew in downhill there are more chances," said Suter, who is a passionate horse rider when away from the slopes.
Suter, who won the season titles in both speed disciplines in the last World Cup season, became the first women's downhill world champion from Switzerland since Maria Walliser won in 1989.
Gut-Behrami seemed on course for her second gold medal in two days when she led Suter by more than three-tenths for most of her run.
However, she came off the race line too much on two occasions and failed to carry enough speed into the final section.
"The win for Corinne is well deserved. She had an amazing run and she is one of the best skiers in downhill," Gut-Behrami said.
Only 31 racers took part as some big names were sitting out the event.
Apart from Goggia, Italians Federice Brignone and Marta Bassino also didn't race, while Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova opted to train for upcoming events.
Shiffrin was expected back in action for the combined event Monday.
The men's downhill is scheduled for Sunday.
With files from CBC Sports