Slovenian skier Ilka Štuhec becomes downhill World Champion

Ilka Štuhec. Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

Slovenian skier Ilka Štuhec took downhill gold at the World Championships in St. Moritz, winning Sunday's race ahead of Austria's Stephanie Venier and US skier Lindsey Vonn.

Štuhec's victory came as no surprise, as the 26-year-old had rocketed to the top of this season's downhill World Cup rankings with three victories in December.

The downhill title thus remains in Slovenian hands, as Štuhec succeeds the retired champion Tina Maze, who won gold in Vail in 2015.

Ilka Štuhec is downhill world champion. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

This is the first medal at major events for Štuhec, who managed to handle the increased pressure after she had finished a disappointing 11th in the super-G and crashed in the super combined race in St. Moritz.

"I felt the pressure before the start, I was more nervous than usually, but I managed to focus and do a good job," Štuhec said after the race.

"Already at the first jump I sensed my skies were unbelievably fast and I told my self I just needed a normal race," added the new star, who also won super-G and a super combined races in this season.

Štuhec is Slovenia's third skiing World Champion in history. Maze has four titles, while the first ever was secured by Mateja Svet, who won the World Championships slalom in Vail in 1989.

Source: STA