Disappointed, Lena Dürr sat in the snow, wiped tears from her eyes and quickly put her ski goggles back on. Despite her lead after the first run at the Beijing Winter Olympics, the German ski racer narrowly missed out on a medal in the slalom. The 30-year-old slipped back to fourth place on Wednesday after the second run.
In the end she was only 0.07 seconds behind the bronze winner Wendy Holdener from Switzerland. “Now it really hurts, it’s just bitter,” said Dürr in a first reaction on ZDF.
A little later she seemed a little calmer and said: “It was so incredibly close, that annoys me the most now. When it’s clear and you’re really far away from them, it’s easier to process.”
The day also ends with a disappointment for Shiffrin
Gold went to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, who was eighth after the first round. Katharina Liensberger from Austria won silver. Dürr was 19 hundredths of a second behind Vlhova. Emma Aicher, the second German starter, came in 18th place. Mikaela Shiffrin experienced the next debacle and, after her early exit in the giant slalom, also retired in the first run of the slalom.
Dürr missed the fourth Olympic victory of a German slalom skier after Rosi Mittermaier (1976), Hilde Gerg (1998) and Maria Höfl-Riesch (2010), which seemed within reach after the first round. “It’s almost a bit the maximum penalty, Lena drove a great race,” said Gerg as a ZDF expert.
Olympic champion Vlhova hugged Dürr for a long time and Holdener also comforted her defeated competitor: “I’m sorry.” Memories were awakened of the Winter Games four years ago, when Viktoria Rebensburg also only just missed out on the bronze medal in the giant slalom.
The day also ended in disappointment for Shiffrin. “It’s not the end of the world,” she said after her exit after only a few goals in the first run: “But I think I have to question a lot now.” With her head hanging and an incredulous expression, the 26-year-old sat next to the track for a few minutes before she went to the interviews. Within just three days, the long-time alpine dominator in Yanqing has already missed two big chances for a medal. She probably still has the biggest one in the combination. She will try to press the reset button again, she announced: “Maybe I’ll do better this time.”