Worley secures ‘emotional’ giant slalom title

1. Ski
France’s Tessa Worley celebrates on podium her small Globe after winning the Women’s Giant slalom season during the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup finals 2021/2022 in Meribel, French Alps, on March 20, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
MÉRIBEL, France — French veteran Tessa Worley secured an ‘emotional’ giant slalom World Cup title on Sunday after a nerve-racking fourth place in front of her home fans.اضافة اعلان

Federica Brignone won the last race of the women’s World Cup season and Worley came fourth to grab the title as Mikaela Shiffrin blew a big lead on the second leg.

“It’s the emotions, a moment in France in front of my public, it’s what an athlete dreams of, you can’t do much better. There is a very strong emotional side today,” said the 32-year-old Worley after her second giant slalom title.

Swede Sara Hector entered the race leading the event standings by five points from Worley with American Shiffrin in touch in third.

“It was an incredible scenario,” said Worley.

Shiffrin dominated the first run to lead Brignone by a huge 0.82sec. Worley was eighth at 1.60sec and Hector, battling injury, a distant 13th.

Hector again struggled in the second run, but Worley delivered what turned out to be the fastest second-run time to briefly grab the lead.

“After the first round I was disappointed because I felt that it was getting away from me, I had to give it my all in this second round, and also that fate was in my favor,” she said.

Because she had so much time to make up, Worley’s combined time was quickly overtaken by later skiers.

As Shiffrin leapt out of the starting gate for the final run of the women’s season, Worley was fourth. If the American collected the 100 points for a victory, she would take the title by four points from Worley.

But Shiffrin seemed to opt for a defensive approach and failed to build up speed, losing large chunks of time at each split. She ended up posting the slowest time of any of the 24 skiers to finish the second run.

Brignone won by 0.31sec from compatriot Marta Bassino. Slovak Petra Vlhova was third at 0.37.

Hector was 14th.

‘Thrilling race’

Worley missed the podium as she finished fourth, 0.45sec behind Brignone, but she collected the small globe and red bib as she became giant slalom champion for a second time.

“I knew it was going to be a thrilling race but I didn’t imagine it to be this exciting,” she said.

“I had a lot of dreams last night, a lot of possible scenarios, but it was still different from everything I had imagined.”

Worley ended the season 27 points ahead of Hector in the giant slalom standings and 60 clear of Shiffrin, who after the race collected the large globe for overall champion she had clinched earlier in the week.

Worley won her previous small globe in 2017.

“It’s a more unexpected globe than in 2017, I didn’t think I would be able to ski at such a level all season. In 2017 I was on the podium from start to finish,” she recalled.

“I enjoyed my finals less. This morning I was stressed but I arrived as an outsider, more unexpected, at home. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion but it worked out.”

The French resort of Meribel will also host the women’s World Championship races next season.

Worley did not promise she would be there.

“I’m going to take a good break in the spring, ask myself the right questions, take stock and know what I want to do next year. For the moment I’m enjoying myself, I’m still in the mood.”

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