France's Tessa Worley claims Giant Slalom gold at World Ski Championships

France's Tessa Worley claims Giant Slalom gold at World Ski Championships

Tessa Worley of France took gold in the women's Giant Slalom ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin and Sofia Goggia

Tom Hiscott

Tessa Worley of France backed-up her fantastic season to take gold in the Women's Giant Slalom at the 2017 World Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

After building a strong lead during the first run, Worley did enough to claim gold by 0.34 seconds ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States, with Italy's Sofia Goggia taking bronze. 

This was Worley's second gold of the week, after she was part of the French quartet who claimed gold in the Team Event.

The final giant slalom podium (image source: Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

Defending champion loses more than two seconds to Worley during first run

After the first run, it was world ranked number one Worley who led the way thanks to a time of 1.02:01 despite being the first women to take to the course. Goggia was second with a deficit of close to half-a-second, while Shiffrin was third, 0.72 seconds behind Worley's time.

Reigning World Champion, Anna Veith - previously known as Fenninger - finished the first run in 23rd, 2.25 seconds off the lead, while Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg, who took silver two years ago, was the only big-name casualty in the morning session after failing to complete the course. 

Moelgg storms into lead with strong second run

Having won this title back in 2013 in Schladming, the pressure was off Worley somewhat, yet she had to sit back and watch her competitors set the time for her to chase. 

With the start list going in descending order of the time's set during the first run, the likes of Veith and Downhill champion Ilka Stuhec were among the early starters but didn't do enough to unsettle the leaders. 

It was Michaela Kirchgasser who led halfway through the second run with 15 skiers remaining, yet her leading time was soon swamped by the next few women, with Manuela Moelgg raising the bar to lead by 0.62 when she crossed the line. 

Podium decided by top three from first run

When it got to the final three racers, all of them had enough of an advantage to feel confident of claiming podium positions, and that is precisely what happened although the order was re-jigged.

Shiffrin who set off 28th in the second run was the fastest woman down the hill second time around to end the race in silver-medal position ahead of Goggia who lost a 0.24 second lead over the American to finish in third. 

Worley proved to be too strong though, and despite a minor mistake at the top of her run, the 2013 champion in this discipline skied a strong enough run to defeat Shiffrin by 0.34 seconds and claim her second gold of the championships.

The men take part in the Giant Slalom on Friday, with Marcel Hirscher and Alexis Pinturault expected to battle for gold.