Winter sports: Vonn wins 4th straight World Cup downhill
By ERIC WILLEMSEN
Associated Press Writer
HAUS IM ENNSTAL, Austria — Lindsey Vonn won her fourth straight World Cup downhill Saturday and second in two days, overcoming poor visibility because of increasing snowfall.
She sped down the shortened Krummholz course in 1 minute, 9.12 seconds to beat Nadja Kamer of Switzerland by 0.14 seconds and extend her lead in the overall standings. Ingrid Jacquemod of France was another 0.02 back in third.
“I am very surprised to win the downhill today,” said Vonn, who started 21st. “I knew I had to make a perfect run. First, I thought I had to be aggressive, but then I realized that the weather was getting worse.”
Vonn was in control all the way and finished strongly to beat Kamer, who started first and under better conditions. This was Kamer’s first top-three finish in a World Cup race.
“Maybe I was lucky as well with start No. 1,” she said. “I never believed I could win as I knew that Lindsey would be faster.”
In addition to Vonn, the U.S. had a ninth-place finish from Stacey Cook while Julia Mancuso was 11th.
Jacquemod, who was 23rd in Friday’s downhill, likened the race to a sprint.
“It was a challenge, and I like challenges,” she said.
The race was postponed several times because of fog and organizers lowered the start of the race to the point normally used for super-G starts.
Vonn’s main rival, Maria Riesch, finished seventh, 0.46 off the winning time. Vonn has 794 points to lead the German by 99 points. Austria’s Kathrin Zettel is third with 569.
“I can’t be satisfied finishing seventh but it’s not the end of the world,” Riesch said. “Lowering the start made it a pretty short course, which was not a benefit for me.”
Anja Paerson finished fifth, 0.40 behind Vonn, and is fourth in the standings with 471 points. She was second in Friday’s downhill.
A women’s super-G in Haus im Ennstal is scheduled for Sunday.