New Zealand skier Alice Robinson has finished ninth in her final World Cup Super G before the Winter Olympics, claiming her third top 10 finish of the season.
The 20-year-old, who was the fourth skier out of over 40 starters down the course at Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy, had a near flawless run until a big mistake in the lower section that cost her the chance of a first World Cup podium in Super G.
Robinson clocked 1 minutes 21.6 seconds in her ninth placed finish, which was just 0.62 seconds slower than the winner, Italian Elena Curtoni, with Austria's Tamara Tippler and Switzerland's Federica Brignone rounding out the podium.
"She could have won the race," Robinson's co-coach Chris Knight lamented.
"She made some good turns but there was no flow between the turns and that's definitely what you need in speed. Her mistake at the bottom was costly and she lost half a second at the last split and that was way too much.
"Unfortunately, her mistake at the bottom cost her a podium. So some really good things to work with going into China, but it's also a little disappointing."
Robinson has finished fourth, seventh and now ninth in her last three World Cup Super G starts, a discipline where she has only had 11 World Cup races in her career to date.
The results give plenty of optimism that the young Kiwi can challenge for the podium at the Beijing Olympics.
Speaking to the Herald after the race, Robinson said the result was frustrating, but she was taking plenty of positives from her Super G season so far.
"Yeah, you know, it's kind of been a bit frustrating, because I had really, really fast sections the last couple races at the top section, and then made a mistake," Robinson said.
"But it's just kind of a part of learning the Super G discipline; it's a lot about tactics. And there's some parts that I still lack a lot of experience. So in certain sections on the course, especially somewhere like here in Cotina, where some racers have skied it so much and it's the first time for me on the Super G course. There was just a section I didn't quite nail and it cost me a lot of time at the bottom, kind of one turn.
"It's just a little bit of inexperience, I think. But I think the positives are I am skiing really well and I'm right in there now. I'm proving to myself that I can be in the top three and just need to execute."
Robinson will have one final race before heading to Beijing in her specialist Giant Slalom discipline in Kronplatz in Italy tomorrow night.
She will be determined to produce a top performance in an event where she has won three World Cup races but hasn't had a top 10 in the three races she has contested this season.
Her best Giant Slalom result is 11th in the season opening race in Solden in Austria last October.
World Cup leader and winner of the Downhill in Cortina 24 hours earlier, Sofia Goggia, crashed heavily and looked to have suffered a serious knee injury, prompting fears for her Olympic campaign.