Bad weather cancels women’s World Cup downhill in Russia

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              Writing on a giant screen announced that an alpine ski, women's World Cup downhill training is canceled due to heavy snow, in Rosa Khutor, Russia, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)
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ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (AP) — A women’s World Cup downhill at the 2014 Olympic resort was canceled Saturday after days of heavy snowfall affected the slope.

A course crew worked through the night but early morning conditions still forced organizers to cancel a training run and the subsequent race.

“The snow surface itself was not hard enough. This is for us always the main concern,” FIS women’s race director Peter Gerdol said. “The safety of the athletes is the absolute priority always.”

The unfavorable weather had already wiped out all three training days this week, forcing organizers to reschedule a mandatory test run 2 1/2 hours before the actual race on Saturday.

FIS said organizers were trying to prepare the slope for a super-G scheduled for Sunday by watering the softer sections and removing the accumulated snow.

Overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin, who won a downhill and a super-G and placed fourth in another downhill in Bulgaria last weekend, decided at the beginning of the week to skip the event in Russia.

It is the second straight season that bad weather has wiped out World Cup races here. Shiffrin had also refrained from traveling to the event last year.