March 15, 2017 / 6:40 PM / 5 months ago

Stuhec, Fill claim downhill crowns in final race

Mar 15, 2017; Aspen, CO, USA; Peter Fill of Italy celebrates on the podium after the men's downhill alpine skiing race in the 2017 Audi FIS World Cup Finals at Aspen Mountain. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Italy's Peter Fill and Slovenian Ilka Stuhec were crowned World Cup downhill champions on Wednesday, clinching the titles in the final races of the season in Aspen, Colorado.

Stuhec confirmed her status as the circuit's speed queen with a winning time of one minute, 36.95 seconds to cap a brilliant campaign in which she also claimed the world championship title in St. Moritz.

It was a dominating performance by Stuhec who was the first skier out of the start hut and set a target no one could match.

Only American favourite Lindsey Vonn could come close to the young Slovenian, crossing the line 0.66 seconds behind the winner to take second. Italy's Sofia Goggia was third.

Goggia was the only skier with a chance of overhauling Stuhec but taking the crown would have required a near miracle with the Slovenian holding a 97-point advantage.

Mar 15, 2017; Aspen, CO, USA; Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia during the women's downhill alpine skiing race in the 2017 Audi FIS World Cup Finals at Aspen Mountain. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

That meant Goggia had to win the race to secure the maximum 100 points while Stuhec met with disaster.

Slideshow (5 Images)

There was more drama in the men's downhill as Fill stole the title from Norway's Kjetil Jansrud with a second-place finish behind team mate Dominik Paris.

Fill, who started the day trailing Jansrud by 33 points and as the only skier with a chance of denying the Norwegian the crown, blitzed down the America's Downhill course in a time 1:33.15 seconds, coming home just 0.08 seconds behind Paris.

Jansrud, who has already wrapped up the Super G title, could do no better than 11th, ending his hopes of adding the downhill crystal globe that goes to the discipline champion to his collection.

Fill picked up 80 points for his second place, pushing his season total to 454 while Jansrud earned just 24, dropping him into second on 431.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ed Osmond

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