The women’s giant slalom race in Solden has been postponed due to bad weather in Austria, delaying the start of the Alpine Skiing season until at least Sunday.
It was due to start at 9am UK time, but heavy rain means that it will not be possible to race on the Tyrolean resort.
"Due to current weather conditions and forecasts, the jury and the local organizing committee have decided to cancel the women's giant of the day," said the organisers in a press release.
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FIS women's race director Peter Gerdol added "this was the worst case scenario and it happened.
"We had a couple of hours of rain tonight and then wet snow early morning. So the course was too soft to guarantee a safe race."
Competitors were unable to use the course for official training on Friday, while free skiing was not permitted either due to strong winds which prevented the ski lifts from operating.
Reigning World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin was looking to add to her 74 career wins in Austria, as she chases down Lindsey Vonn’s and Ingemar Stenmark’s respective career records.
Vonn holds the record for the most career wins as a woman (82), while Stenmark’s total (86) is highest among all alpine skiers. There were subplots aplenty in a fiercely competitive women’s category, including Shiffrin’s rivalry with Petra Vlhova.
Vlhova is the current slalom globe holder, winning giant slalom gold at the 2019 World Championships. With that in mind, the Slovakian is tipped to be Shiffrin's closest competitor heading into this season.
This is the first cancellation since 2018 when the men’s race was cancelled. Solden has opened the Alpine Skiing season for the last 20 years, and it remains to be seen when the rescheduled women’s giant slalom will take place in an increasingly congested schedule.
With the weather conditions expected to improve, the men’s race is currently expected to go ahead as planned, with the first and second runs expected to start at 7am and 10pm UK time.
Marco Odermatt is the current World Cup title holder and aims to become the first man to defend the overall title since the retirement of Marcel Hirscher in 2019.
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