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Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria Jan. 12, 2002 (AP by Marsha Hill)–Hilde Gerg of Germany won her second World Cup downhill in two days on Saturday, finishing ahead of a trio of Austrians.
Gerg swept down the Zwoelferkogl course in 1 minute 22.31 seconds. Renate Goetschl was next, .05 seconds behind, followed by Michaela Dorfmeister and Brigitte Obermoser, who shared fourth place with Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden.
“It was a good run and a good result,” Gerg said. “I was a bit surprised and a bit proud to have won the double downhill. It doesn’t happen very often and not many people manage to do it.”
Among U.S. racers, Kirstin Clark was 16th at 1:23.90, Caroline Lalive 17th at 1:23.91, Picabo Street 18th at 1:23.94, Lindsey Kildow 24th at 1:24.31, Kathleen Monahan 27th at 1:24.42, Jonna Mendes 38th at 1:24.89 and Julia Mancuso 41st at 1:25.21.
Goetschl challenged Gerg’s times over the upper and middle sections of the course, but fell back in the final stretch.
“I tried to be more relaxed on the top today and I think it worked for me,” said Goetschl, who hasn’t won a downhill since January 2001. “Slowly I am getting the feeling back that I can ski really well.”
World Cup downhill leader Isolde Kostner of Italy had another disappointing run, finishing sixth, .73 behind.
Gerg, 26, is returning to top form after a leg injury kept her sidelined for most of 2000. She was considering retiring from racing before finishing a surprise third in the super-G at the St. Anton world championship last February and winning the downhill at the World Cup finals in Are a month later.
“I am in good form at the moment and generally feel good about everything,” she said.
Kostner maintained her lead in the downhill standings with 380 points, followed by Gerg (310) and Berthold (281). Anja Paerson of Sweden leads the overall standings with 609, followed by Dorfmeister (548) and Gerg (525).
Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press