Are, Sweden Feb. 2, 2002 (AP by Stephan Nasstrom)–Renate Goetschl led an Austrian 1-2 finish Saturday in a women’s World Cup downhill.
Goetschl had a combined time of 1 minute, 44.23 seconds on the Olympia course, the final downhill before the Salt Lake City Olympics. It was her third win on the hill since 1999 and 22nd career victory.
“I still make some mistakes in the downhill, but it’s not a big deal,” said Goetschel, who will ski in the downhill, Super-G and combined at the Olympics. “In all three disciplines I have good chances.”
Selina Heregger was second, .08 behind, for her first podium finish in the World Cup. Isolde Kostner, the downhill points leader from Italy, made a strong second run and moved from 10th to third in 1:44.90.
Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria, the defending downhill champion, was ninth but stayed atop the World Cup overall standings. Dorfmeister, the giant slalom winner Thursday, has 955 points. Goetschl moved to second place with 807.
Five skiers from the powerful Austrian team made the top 10.
Most U.S. downhillers, including Picabo Street, did not enter because they wanted to practice in the United States or Canada before the Winter Games. Street had a scary fall on the Olympia just before the 1998 Nagano Games.
Pernilla Wiberg, who is considering retirement after this season, also passed up what could have been her last World Cup race Sweden to work out in Canada.
Petra Haltmayr of Germany dislocated her right shoulder after crashing on the toughest part of the course. It was not immediately known if Haltmayr, Germany’s second-best downhiller behind Hilde Gerg, would be able to compete in the Winter Olympics that begin Friday. The women’s downhill is the first Alpine event.
Haltmayr lost her balance after a curve. A safety net caught her bruised body about 20 yards from where she fell. She was brought down the course on a sled and to a waiting ambulance near the finishing area.
The top U.S. finisher was Lindsey Kildow of Vail, Colo., 23rd at 1:46.57, 2.34 seconds back. Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley, Calif., the only other American racer, was 28th at 1:47.01.
Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press