BC-SKI--WCup-Women’s Super-G Canceled,2nd Ld-Writethru
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — The women’s super-G race in Sochi was canceled Sunday after adverse weather made it impossible to hold any of the week’s events.
Days of heavy snow and strong wind prevented any racing at the first World Cup event since 2012 on the Rosa Khutor course used for the 2014 Winter Olympics. All three downhill training sessions were canceled, as were Saturday’s downhill race and a replacement super-G meant for Saturday.
“It’s just incredible how (much) bad luck the organizers had this week,” the International Ski Federation’s chief race director Atle Skaardal said.
“It’s a very extreme weather situation. We measured 1.5 meters (5 feet) of snow since Tuesday when we arrived. For this kind of skiing, on this level, with this speed, the safety is a priority and it’s impossible to have a hard enough course preparation under these circumstances.”
Sunday’s cancellation helps Mikaela Shiffrin’s chances of winning the super-G trophy, which she leads by 32 points from Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather with one race remaining.
The U.S. skier, who chose to skip the Sochi races, secured the overall World Cup title Saturday when the first race of the weekend was also canceled.
Sochi was the third round of the women’s World Cup this season to be wiped out by the weather after Val d’Isere in December and St. Anton in January.
Having too much snow, rather than not enough, is rare in Sochi, whose location in southern Russia means skiers and organizers typically see warm temperatures as more of a threat. For the 2014 Olympics, that meant generating vast quantities of artificial snow and storing the previous year’s snow under blankets at high altitude.
“This will be a helpful experience for next time,” Skaardal said. “For next year, Sochi or Rosa Khutor is planned to be end of January, beginning of February, which is in terms of the climate and the weather here a more favorable period of the year.”
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