Ledecka wins surprise Olympic super-G title with late charge

Czech Republic's Ester Ledecka reacts after winning the gold in the women's super-G during the flower ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

JEONGSEON, South Korea (AP) Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic made a stunning run from back in the pack to take the Olympic super-G title on Saturday, with a mistake costing Lindsey Vonn a spot on the podium.

Ledecka, the 26th racer to take the course, blazed through the course in a time of 1 minute, 21.11 seconds. Defending champion Anna Veith of Austria earned the silver, finishing 0.01 seconds back, and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein captured bronze.

Ledecka’s run shocked even the 22-year-old, who also is a snowboarder. Shortly after finishing and seeing her time, she asked, ”How did that happen?”

Wonderful question. Even better may be this: Is she now a snowboarder or an Alpine skier?

She won the parallel giant slalom at the world snowboard championships last March.

”That’s so impressive,” Michelle Gisin of Switzerland said. ”Better stay with us and don’t go snowboarding. I know that she can take a lot of risks.”

Vonn had a fast run going before going too wide on a turn near the bottom. She finished in a tie for sixth.

”It’s definitely shocking. I wish I had so much athleticism as she has and hop from sport to sport,” Vonn said of Ledecka. ”I feel like in the Olympics a lot of weird things happen.”

Vonn will have another shot to medal in the downhill.

At age 33, she is trying to become the oldest woman to win an Olympic Alpine medal. She won bronze in the super-G at the 2010 Vancouver Games – to go with her downhill gold – but missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics after surgery on her right knee.

More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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