Goggia wins Olympic ski test event in Korea

Sofia Goggia skis to her first World Cup victory, winning the 2018 Olympic test event at Jeongseong, March 4, 2017

Italian skier Sofia Goggia stormed to her first World Cup victory in the downhill Saturday, beating Lindsey Vonn and Ilka Stuhec to win the 2018 Olympic test event at Jeongseon.

Goggia clocked one minute, 38.80 seconds to edge out American star Vonn after the former Olympic champion set the early pace with a time of 1:38.87.

She also prevented Stuhec from clinching the downhill World Cup -- at least mathematically -- by moving to within 97 points of the Slovenian at the top of the standings before the final race later this month.

Stuhec, the recently crowned world champion, finished third in 1:39.03 and barring a major upset should wrap up the World Cup title at Aspen, Colorado on March 15.

"I sincerely didn't think I could win today so I am pretty happy," Goggia told reporters after denying Vonn a 78th World Cup win.

"I'm so honoured to ski with a legend -- she inspires me," she added, referring to Vonn, who unusually chose to ski first after setting the fastest times in both practice runs at the venue for next year's Pyeongchang Olympics.

"Today beating her, I am super touched. We had a great fight, I thought I couldn't reach her because of the training run as she was so fast."

Goggia had racked up nine podiums this year but never won a World Cup event.

"I'm really happy with my run today," said Vonn, who returned to competition in January after nearly a year out with knee and arm injuries.

"I definitely made some mistakes but my skiing was good. I've only run number one once before, it was fun.

"I thought the snow would get a little soft later on but it got a little faster between numbers five and 20."

Stuhec was philosophical in defeat.

"I felt fast but not fast enough," said the Slovenian, who is closing in on American Mikaela Shiffrin in the overall standings.

"I'm not perfectly satisfied but I'm looking forward to coming back here next year (for the Olympics) to hopefully show the perfect run."