Dorfmeister Wins Are SG

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February 19, 2005

ARE, Sweden (AP by Stephan Nasstrom)--Michaela Dorfmeister and Alexandra Meissnitzer gave Austria the top two spots in a wind-swept super-G race Saturday, while world champion and defending World Cup overall champ Anja Paerson finished fifth before her home fans.

Dorfmeister skied a near-perfect race down the 1,801-meter Olympia course, crossing in 1 minute, 07.53 seconds. It was her second super-G win of the season.

Meissnitzer was 0.45 behind, while Lucia Recchia of Italy took third, 0.52 back.

``It was a good race, but not perfect,'' Dorfmeister said. ``But when you ski fast you can make mistakes. I'm surprised the victory margin was so big, because the course is not long. It wasn't easy because the wind was difficult at the top.''

For Dorfmeister, who won a giant slalom here three years ago, it was her 19th career World Cup victory and came after she struggled at the recent world championships in Italy.With the win, Dorfmeister moved within two points of teammate Renate Goetschl in the super-G standings.

Goetschl, a five-time winner in Are, was 10th Saturday. That left her with a 335-333 edge over Dorfmeister through six races. Lindsey Kildow of the United States _ seventh in Saturday's race _ is third in the standings with 326 points.

``It's a big goal for me to win the super-G cup this winter,'' Dorfmeister said.

Meissnitzer also won a World Cup race at Are _ a GS in 1999 _ but has not been close since.

``My feeling wasn't too good, the visibility was bad and it was windy at the top, but it was a fair race,'' she said.

The Austrians' 1-2 finish came just an hour after Michael Walchhofer led an Austrian sweep of the top three places in a men's World Cup downhill at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Recchia, whose best super-G result this season was a runner-up finish in early December, skied with pain from a recent knee injury.

``The knee is better,'' Recchia said. ``I took pain killers, but I still felt pain when I finished. I didn't train for a week.''

Janica Kostelic of Croatia, who won three titles at the world championships, was 0.54 off Dorfmeister's pace and finished fourth, good enough to overtake Finland's Tanja Poutiainen for the overall World Cup lead.

Kostelic tops the standings with 928 points, while Poutiainen, who was 24th for her best super-G finish of the season, has 909. Paerson, a surprise winner of the super-G world title, was just one-hundredth of a second behind Kostelic and is third in the overall standings with 901 points.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press

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