Marianne Abderhalden of Switzerland came an unexpected third, 0.38 seconds behind winner, American Lindsey Vonn, and 0.37 seconds back of Italy’s Johanna Scharf.
Vonn finished the course in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana in 1 minute, 35.26 seconds.
It was as much of a surprise to find Abderhalden on the podium as second place finisher Scharf.
Although the Swiss skier was junior world champion in the downhill four years ago, she has focused on slalom events up to now.
Starting in position 35, Abderhalden took advantage of a change in the weather and better conditions at the top of the course.
Her best previous result was 21st in the Super Combination two years ago, also in Crans Montana.
swissinfo.ch and agencies