Petra Vlhova wrote history for Slovakia on Friday by winning the Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom race in Semmering (AUT) as an underdog for the victory. It was the first World Cup podium and win in giant slalom for a skier from Slovakia, male or female, and fans traveled from nearby Bratislava to cheer on Vlhova. It was also the first podium and victory in giant slalom for the skier who regularly challenges for wins in slalom.
Vlhova was noticeably emotional after the win which she secured only by moving up from fourth place after the first run to claim the victory. Another powerful move came from Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany who pushed from 10th position into second place with the fastest second-run time of the day. Tessa Worley of France joined the trio to round out the podium in third after sitting in seventh position after the first run.
First-run leaders Mikaela Shiffrin, Stephanie Brunner, and Ragnhild Mowinckel (who sat within 0.03 seconds of each other after the first run) had to settle for fifth, fourth, and ninth places, respectively, after their second runs were finished. The Austrian team still had a strong showing for the home crowd by placing five athletes in the top 15.
The ladies contest a slalom on Saturday at Semmering starting at 10:30 CET.
Full results from today's race are available here.