VEYSONNAZ, Switzerland, Jan. 10, 2004 (AP by Erica Bulman) — Austria’s Renate Goetschl won her second straight World Cup downhill Saturday, moving into third place on the career list for downhill victories.
Goetschl sped down the forest-lined course in 1 minute 38.58 seconds. Teammate Michaela Dorfmeister and Germany’s Hilde Gerg shared second, 0.49 seconds behind.
Kirsten Clark of the United States was fourth, 0.59 off the pace, and teammate Caroline Lalive was fifth in 1:39.57.
Lalive, a two-time Olympian, recorded her best finish since an accident last March that left her with broken ribs, a concussion and an injured right knee that required reconstructive surgery.
“It’s a really awesome step for me,” she said. “It’s a good confidence booster and I’ll just keep trying to build my way back to the top.”
Goetschl has won 30 World Cup races, including 16 in the downhill. Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria has the most World Cup downhill wins (36), followed by Michaela Figini of Switzerland (17).
“I don’t count the victories and it isn’t a goal,” Goetschl said. “But when you realize it has happened, it feels good.”
Goetschl has by far the most World Cup victories of any active female skier. Croatia’s Janica Kostelic is next with 19.
This season, Goetschl won the previous downhill in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and a super giant slalom in Lake Louise, Alberta.
Goetschl crashed in a downhill in March 2002, tearing tendons, ligaments and cartilage in her left knee and breaking her leg. After surgery, she completed four months of therapy and started to ski again at the end of the summer.
“Last year I was still doubting I could ever truly return to the form I was in before my accident,” said Goetschl, the 2000 World Cup overall champion. “This year everything has changed.”
Gerg leads the downhill standings with 285 points. Goetschl is second (280) and Olympic champion Carole Montillet of France is third (256).
Overall World Cup leader Anja Paerson of Sweden finished in 37th place. Paerson, a technical specialist, was racing in only her second World Cup downhill.
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