Dorfmeister Leads World Cup

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Maribor, Slovenia, Jan. 5 (AP by Vania Grandi)--Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister powered down a choppy giant slalom course today, earning her third victory of the season and vaulting into the lead of the World Cup standings.

Dorfmeister, quickest in both runs, was timed in 2 minutes, 14.68 seconds.

Switzerland's Sonja Nef, winner of the season opening giant slalom in October, finished a distant second at 2:15.54. Austrian Anita Wachter, the winner here last year, was third at 2:16.28.

``I tried to ski as fast as possible and I succeeded,'' said a jubilant Dorfmeister, who screamed in delight when she saw her time flashed at the finish line.

``Maybe the first run was a little fast for me,'' said Wachter, seeking her 20th career win.

Wachter won last week's giant slalom at Linz, Austria.

Dorfmeister, winless in giant slalom before this season, moved ahead of teammate Renate Goetschl in the overall World Cup standings.

Dorfmeister had been a speed specialist, excelling in downhill and super-G, with a victory in each event. At the 1998 Olympics, she was the super-G silver medalist.

During the off-season, Dorfmeister focused on improving her technical skills.

Today's course was relatively flat and the turns wide. But the track quickly deteriorated in the second run and was chopped up and bumpy by the time Dorfmeister descended. The top 30 skiers go in reverse order in the second run, so Dorfmeister was last down the course. 1st Ld-Writethru

Copyright (c) 1999 The Associated Press