Maier Looks to Reach 2,000 Points

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Bormio, Italy Mar. 16 (AP by Erica Bulman)--After winning the World Cup super-G, downhill and overall crowns and breaking the overall points record, Austria's Hermann Maier is looking to achieve another goal heading into the super-G finals.

He wants to become the first skier to amass more than 2,000 points in a single season.

Maier needs just 100 points and is likely to earn them in the super-G, giant slalom and slalom at this week's World Cup Finals.

``It's a goal of mine to reach 2,000 points,'' Maier said only moments after being crowned the downhill World Cup champion on Wednesday. ``I want to do that here.

``Of course, my first goal is to have a solid race,'' said the 27-year-old former bricklayer, who last week shattered Paul Accola's record of 1,699 points set when the Swiss skier won the overall title in 1992. ``I need to be aggressive, but make sure I don't go out or make any fatal mistakes.''

The super-G, scheduled today, is traditionally the Austrian's best discipline, and he's won three of the six super-Gs so far this season.

But Maier has a tough field to contend with, including four other Austrians who follow him in the standings and are seeking to beat their illustrious teammate.

Last month, Josef Strobl won a super-G on home snow in St. Anton, the site of next year's world championships, while Fritz Strobl and Werner Franz tied for first in the second super-G at the same resort.

Italy's Kristian Ghedina, whose hopes for the World Cup downhill title were dashed Wednesday when he finished 14th, is also primed for the super-G after winning his first career World Cup race in the discipline in Kvitfjell last week.

The women were also scheduled to run the finals super-G today, with Renate Goetschl of Austrian the favorite.

Leading the overall by 263 points, a win in the super-G would secure Goetschl the overall title.

``I think I've won it,'' Goetschl said. ``I increased my lead today after finishing third in the downhill and I think that was enough. But until I get enough points, it's not officially mine.''

The 26-year-old Austrian, who locked up the women's super-G title last week, just missed on winning the World Cup downhill crown to Germany's Regina Haeusl on Wednesday.

France's Regine Cavagnoud won the race, while Haeusl clinched the title, finishing in ninth place and in the hospital after breaking her leg in two places in a crash in the finish area.

Goetschl won two of the season's seven super-Gs and clinched the title 10 days ago in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, when poor weather pushed race officials to replace the super-G with a downhill.

Canada's Melanie Turgeon, who edged Goetschl in the first of two super-Gs in Innsbruck last month to collect her first career World Cup victory, will be looking to end her season on a high note. Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press