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Vonn Wins Silver in WC Downhill

Vonn Wins Silver in WC Downhill

[ Sun, 2011-02-13 10:08 ]
3
lindsey Vonn Silver G-P
Vonn leads another strong performance from the U.S. women, including three top 10 finishes, at the World Championship downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
After sitting out the super G and the slalom portion of the combined events earlier this week, Lindsey Vonn came back strong today to win a silver medal on the challenging Kandahar downhill course. Vonn, who suffered a concussion earlier this week, was the 20th skier to start today’s race and came within .44 seconds of the winner, Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl, who skied 16th. Vonn knocked her close friend and hometown favorite Maria Riesch, who raced immediately after Goergl, into third place. Goergl held onto the lead, making this her second gold of this World Championships. “Today’s silver feels like a gold,” said Vonn in a press conference following the race. Julia Mancuso, who won silver in the super G earlier this week, also skied a fast and clean run, finishing the race in sixth place. American Laurenne Ross, who was the first racer out of the gate, skied what she called her best race of the season. Ross held onto the lead until Austria’s Andrea Fischbacher, skiing ninth, edged her out by .01 seconds. Ross finished the race in 10th place. The crowd at today’s event was noticeably subdued when Vonn came across the finish line, perhaps because earlier in the week she criticized the conditions on the Kandahar slope for being too icy and dangerous. In a press conference this afternoon, Vonn insisted her comments weren’t meant as criticism of Garmisch-Partenkirchen or the host committee but rather a call to the FIS to improve course maintenance and safety. Warm temperatures over the past couple days softened the course considerably, and Mancuso referred to the snow as spring-like. Both she and Sweden’s Anja Paerson suggested that Vonn might have had an advantage today because she had rested while the rest of the women dealt with the tough course conditions in the previous races. Following today’s race, Vonn said she wasn’t sure yet if she would enter the nations team event or the women’s giant slalom and slalom events—scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, respectively—stating she’d consult with her doctors and coaches before making a decision.