| Event type

Downhill, Women1

Date16 February 1998 — 10:30
LocationHappo'one, Hakuba (Olympic Course II)
Participants39 from 16 countries
Course SetterJan TischhauserIFR
DetailsGates: 32
Length: 2518 m
Start Altitude: 1590 m
Vertical Drop: 691 m

As with the men’s downhill, the women’s downhill was delayed by weather, rain and fog causing the start to be moved from 14 February to 16 February. Katja Seizinger was the defending champion and was probably still the best female speed skiier in the world. Since Lillehammer she had won the 1996 World Cup in both overall and Super G and she was leading the 1997-98 downhill World Cup. But she had competition. Two Americans, Picabo Street in 1996 and Hilary Lindh in 1997, had won the last two World Championship downhills. Street was World Cup champion in 1995 and 1996, and Austrian Renate Götschl won the 1997 World Cup. But Street had been badly injured in December 1996, breaking her femur and tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a fall, and had only been skiing competitively for two months at the time of Nagano. Also expected to challenge was Sweden’s Pernilla Wiberg, who was better known for her technical skills, but was a good all-rounder and the 1997 overall World Cup champion. Of the challengers, Seizinger was first down the mountain, and her time of 1:28.89 would hold up, making her the first skier to win two Olympic downhill golds. Wiberg placed second while the bronze went to France’s Florence Masnada. Street finished sixth while Götschl would not finish.

15Katja SeizingerGER1:29.89Gold
215Pernilla WibergSWE1:29.18Silver
32Florence MasnadaFRA1:29.37Bronze
44Mélanie SuchetFRA1:29.48
527Svetlana GladyshevaRUS1:29.50
68Picabo StreetUSA1:29.54
712Régine CavagnoudFRA1:29.72
81Alexandra MeissnitzerAUT1:29.84
=911Katrin GutensohnGER1:29.96
=97Hilde GergGER1:29.96
1129Ingeborg Helen MarkenNOR1:30.19
123Heidi ZurbriggenSUI1:30.25
1314Varvara ZelenskayaRUS1:30.38
1410Carole MontilletFRA1:30.65
1513Steffi SchusterAUT1:30.73
1625Trude GimleNOR1:30.87
1735Jonna MendesUSA1:30.89
1822Michaela DorfmeisterAUT1:31.17
1917Kate Pace-LindsayCAN1:31.30
2021Bibiana PerezITA1:31.43
2124Alessandra MerlinITA1:31.44
=2230Catherine BorghiSUI1:31.45
=2223Mélanie TurgeonCAN1:31.45
2420Špela BračunSLO1:31.54
2533Janica KostelićCRO1:31.97
=2634Morena GallizioITA1:32.22
=2626Katie MonahanUSA1:32.22
2831Kirsten ClarkUSA1:32.25
2932Yekaterina NesterenkoRUS1:32.54
3018Corinne Rey-BelletSUI1:32.92
3136Lucie HrstkováCZE1:33.00
3228Anna LarionovaRUS1:34.36
3339Yuliya KharkivskaUKR1:35.60
3437Carola CalelloARG1:36.71
DNF6Renate GötschlAUT
DNF9Isolde KostnerITA
DNF16Regina HäuslGER
DNF19Kristine KristiansenNOR
DQ38Mónika KovácsHUN[1:37.03]2