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Mikaela Shiffrin settles for silver in super-G at worlds

Olympic Sports, Olympics - Alpine Skiing

Marta Bassino beat Mikaela Shiffrin to win the women's super-G on Wednesday and give Italy its second gold medal at the Alpine skiing world championships, with her American rival settling for silver.

Shiffrin led Bassino by three-tenths of a second at the second split but couldn't match the Italian's pace in the last part of the Roc de Fer course and finished second, 0.11 seconds behind.

Cornelia Huetter of Austria and Kajsa Vickhoff Lie of Norway both were 0.33 behind to share the bronze medal.

"I'm so happy with my run, and emotional, because I don't really feel like I should be winning a medal in super-G right now. There are so many women so strong and so fast," said Shiffrin. "There was one moment where I thought I lost everything but then I could keep it rolling until the finish."

Shiffrin woke up to the news Wednesday that LeBron James had broken the NBA career scoring record, and the American skier drew inspiration from the accomplishment.

"I was thinking, 'Wow, that's cool for him.' I wasn't sure if it was a dream, though, so it's good to know that it's true," Shiffrin said. "It's another example of incredible accomplishments happening in sport that will continue to drive future generations to try to reset the boundaries, reset the records and keep pushing the level of sports, whether it's skiing or it's basketball or it's anything. It symbolizes this concept that we keep working harder and trying to do better."

The silver is Shiffrin's 12th medal in 15 career world championship races, putting her in sole possession of second place on the all-time list for the most medals won by a woman at the sport's next biggest event after the Olympics, trailing only German skier Christl Cranz, who won 15 in the 1930s. Shiffrin also now has a medal of each color in super-G at worlds.

Her second-place finish came two days after the American was heading for a possible medal in the combined event before straddling the third-to-last gate in the slalom portion. Federica Brignone won that race.

"I felt like I learned from the combined that I have to be much more aggressive with my skiing and with my tactics," said Shiffrin, who was sixth in Monday's super-G run. "Also, this hill is difficult and it deserves respect for the terrain. You have to push the limit, but if you go over the limit, it's even worse. So I was trying to be really strong, really aggressive and just also a little bit smart."

Shiffrin has 11 wins on the World Cup circuit this season to take her overall tally to 85, breaking Lindsey Vonn's women's record of 82 and moving within one of the overall mark set by Ingemar Stenmark in the 1970s and '80s.

She said she expected Bassino to do well after seeing her shortly before the race.

"I could see her in the start, she looked in the right zone," Shiffrin said. "I could see it, she has the flow, and I got like: Now I have to focus on myself and stop looking at Marta."

Bassino earned her second gold medal at the world championships after sharing victory with Austrian skier Katharina Liensberger in the parallel event at her home worlds two years ago. She became the second Italian skier to win the women's super-G world title, after Isolde Kostner won back-to-back golds in the mid-1990s.

Bassino has yet to win a super-G on the World Cup circuit but did finish third in two races in January.

"I'm speechless. It's my first win in super-G, and here at the world championships, it is something I have to realize," Bassino said. "Today I just did a great last part because I lost a lot of time in the first part. I was really suffering watching all the other girls coming down. I'm really happy and confident in myself. It's really a great result for me."

In the super-G portion of the combined, Bassino showed that she was at ease on the bumps of the Roc de Fer course. She went out of the race because of a mistake but before that had been among the fastest.

"I had everything right in my head," Bassino said. "I'm really happy. The gold in parallel two years ago was nice, but today it's something extra, something bigger. It's incredible. I'm really happy with myself and at the same time amazed that I did the race so well."

Many prerace favorites, including defending and Olympic champion Lara Gut-Behrami and her Swiss teammate Corinne Suter, led Bassino by several tenths of a second before losing substantial time in the technically demanding middle section of the course, which was partly shadowed.

Bassino's teammate Sofia Goggia, the Olympic downhill champion, finished 0.76 behind in 11th. Goggia is a favorite to make it three golds from three races for the Italian women's team in Saturday's downhill.

"Great, now the pressure is on me," Goggia said. "First Fede, then Marta and, and, and let's see."

American racer Tricia Mangan skied through a gate and had a nasty crash that broke her right ski, but she appeared to not be seriously hurt.

The men's super-G at the worlds is scheduled for Thursday.

Shiffrin now has more than a week off before her final events of giant slalom and slalom. She will likely go to nearby Italy for two or three days of training while also keeping an eye on how her boyfriend, Norwegian skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, fares in the super-G and Sunday's men's downhill. He will be favored to win both, having led the opening downhill training session Wednesday.

"It's very busy here," U.S. ski team Alpine director Patrick Riml said. "We want to make sure we have a good, quiet calm set up where she can focus on training and and then should be good coming back for slalom and GS."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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