Austria's Anna Fenninger braved a tough Sochi course to claim Olympic gold Saturday in the women's super-G as many competitors failed to finish.
Fenninger was blisteringly fast on the bottom of the Rosa Khutor run to win by 0.55 seconds from super combined gold medalist Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who was faster over much of the course but made a costly mistake late in her run.
Fenninger said she was "stunned" to win, having suspected her approach was too conservative. "It didn't feel like I was pushing myself to the limit," she said. "I didn't think it was going so well while I was going down. I thought the top bit went extremely well, the middle wasn't so good, and the bottom part was okay."
It is the first Olympic medal for Fenninger, 23, who was the 2011 world champion in super combined but had won only one World Cup super-G race before Saturday. Austria has now won women's super-G gold at three Olympics in a row.
The bronze went to Austria's Nicole Hosp, claiming her second medal of the Sochi Games after silver in the super combined Monday.
Medal contender Tina Maze of Slovenia was fifth, while U.S. skier Julia Mancuso came in eighth. For host nation Russia, Elena Yakovishina was 24th, while Maria Bedareva failed to finish.
The winding course put an end to medal hopes for several big names including downhill gold medalist Dominique Gisin and Austrian veteran Elisabeth Goergl, who were among 18 non-finishers.
Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein had been expected to be a contender for the podium in the super-G, but was a non-starter for the third consecutive event after sustaining severe bruising in a training crash last week.