Dorfmeister Wins Giant Slalom in Germany

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Berchtesgaden, Germany Jan 19, 2002 (AP by Roy Kammerer)--Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister won a World Cup giant slalom Saturday, a convincing victory that showed she is in formidable shape leading to the Olympics.

This was the 11th World Cup victory for the world downhill champion, who had two strong runs and took the lead in the overall standings.

She was timed on the flat Goetschen slope in 2 minutes, 24.32 seconds. She finished 1.01 seconds ahead of Norway's Stina Hofgard Nilsen, who was timed in 2:25.33. Canada's Genevieve Simard was a surprising third in 2:25.43.

The top two U.S. finishers were Kristina Koznick in 14th place and Sarah Schleper in 16th.

Dorfmeister failed to crack the top 10 in her last two giant slaloms.

``I think I'm back in form now after I had kind of a slump,'' she said.

Dorfmeister leads the overall World Cup standings with 708 points. Switzerland's Sonja Nef finished fourth Saturday and is second in the standings with 651 points.

This was Dorfmeister's second giant slalom victory of the season and seventh of her career.

At next month's Olympics, she will be a favorite to win the combined and a contender for other medals.

Dorfmeister will enter the giant slalom in Salt Lake City and is favored in the combination. She may also take part in the downhill, depending on the schedule.

``The chance to win three golds is very interesting,'' she said. ``But if you win the overall title, then you're one of the best individuals. I want both.''

Nef retained the lead in the giant slalom standings with 390 races, followed by Dorfmeister with 304.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press