PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn led the women's combined after the top skiers had completed the downhill leg of the competition on Thursday, the American gaining a 0.74 second advantage over closest rival Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway.
Vonn (bronze) and Mowinckel (silver) both made the podium in the women's downhill on Wednesday behind gold-medal winner Sofia Goggia, who did not take part in the combined with a team spokesperson saying the Italian had not slept well.
"She was very tired so she preferred not to start today. Only tired, nothing else," the spokesperson said.
While the 33-year-old Vonn rarely competes in slalom events these days, Mowinckel already has a silver from the giant slalom and will fancy her chances of gold in the combined as she targets a third medal of the Games.
Mikaela Shiffrin came into the event as America's main hope for gold and despite finishing 1.98 seconds behind Vonn, she will still feel she can make up the time in the slalom leg given her prowess in the technical events.
Shiffrin won gold in giant slalom here to add to her slalom gold from Sochi four years ago.
With 25 skiers having run, Switzerland's Michelle Gisin was third fastest in the downhill leg, 0.77 seconds behind Vonn, while Austria's Ramona Siebenhofer is well placed in fourth spot 0.97 seconds off the lead. (Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by John O'Brien)