Eberharter Wraps-up Super G Title

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Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria March 7, 2002 (AP by Erica Bulman)--Austria's Stephan Eberharter added the super-G title to his World Cup overall and downhill championships Thursday, while Didier Cuche captured his first career super-G victory.

The title leaves Eberharter just one short of Hermann Maier's four-event sweep from last season. Eberharter has a solid chance of matching it in this weekend's giant slalom.

Cuche, who finished first, second or third in all but one super-G race this season, won in 1 minute, 25.53 seconds to finish runner-up in the discipline standings.

The victory made up for a disappointing Olympic campaign for the Swiss skier, who crashed in the super-G, placed 14th in the downhill and 10th in the giant slalom.

The Swiss entered the final as the only skier who could have snatched the title from Eberharter, but only by winning the race and if the Austrian had finished 24th or lower.

Olympic downhill champion Fritz Strobl was runner-up in 1:25.88, followed by Italy's Alessandro Fattori, third in 1:26.14.

The 32-year-old Eberharter, the super-G silver medalist behind Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt in Salt Lake City, took no unnecessary risks, playing it safe to finish fourth in 1:26.54.

``I knew I had to go for it to have any chance against Stephan,'' Cuche said. ``He ran an intelligent race.

``I was watching (other skiers) on the TV and noticed the snow was softer at the bottom and knew I had to go for it.''

The Austrian skier lost time at the top after hitting a bump and was already trailing by .56 at the second interval. He finished the season with three wins and two third-place finishes in the super-G.

Only Maier--still sidelined after a motorcycle accident last summer--has four World Cup super-G wins in one season.

The women's super-G title has already been won by Germany's Hilde Gerg.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

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