Huetter win denies Gut-Behrami 4th season title

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On a surprising final day of the women’s World Cup season, Cornelia Huetter won the downhill race to clinch her first season title and deny Lara Gut-Behrami her fourth this week.

Huetter had started Saturday’s race fourth in the discipline standings, behind Austrian teammate Stephanie Venier, the injured Sofia Goggia and Gut-Behrami, who needed to finish ninth or better to protect her lead in the standings.

Huetter was 12th out the starting gate, and after she soared into the lead with a time of 1 minute, 45.08 seconds, all eyes turned to Gut-Behrami.

Having already won the overall, giant slalom and super-G titles over the past week at the World Cup finals, Gut-Behrami was expected to become the fourth female skier to win four classifications in one season, joining Lindsey Vonn, Tina Maze and, most recently, Mikaela Shiffrin.

However, the Swiss standout was perhaps too cautious and ended up crossing the line in 11th and Huetter was immediately surrounded by her jubilant teammates.

It still wasn’t over as Huetter then faced an anxious wait to make sure none of the remaining skiers were faster as that would have denied the 31-year-old the 100 points for the win that she needed to beat Gut-Behrami to the title.

Ilka Stuhec and Nicol Delago went nerve-crushingly close — starting 17th and 18th, respectively — and Huetter had her head in her hands after Stuhec finished just 0.17 seconds behind for second place. Delago was third, 0.49 behind Huetter.

Gut-Behrami dropped to 17th and out of the points, finishing 28 points behind Huetter. She is the first Swiss female skier since Vreni Schneider in 1995 to win three globes in a single season.

The race was also a farewell to Norway’s retiring Ragnhild Mowinckel, the 2018 Olympic downhill silver medalist. She finished 20th.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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