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Maier Dominates Men's Super-G in Italy


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Bormio, Italy Mar. 16 (AP by Erica Bulman)–Austria’s Hermann Maier, the super-G title already in hand, thrashed the opposition by nearly 2 seconds today in the last super-G race of the season at the World Cup Finals.

Renate Goetschl of Austria clinched the women’s World Cup overall title Thursday by winning the last Super-G race of the season.

Maier’s 28th career victory _ the fourth in super-G this season _ vaulted Maier to 2,000 points in the overall standings, a record total in World Cup history.

“Since January, my goal has been to reach 2,000 points, so this race means a lot to me,” said Maier, who last week smashed Paul Accola’s record of 1,699 points set when the Swiss skier won the overall title in 1992. “My first year, I would have been happy with 400 points.

“Now, I have five times that. It’s incredible.”

The Austrian superstar, who already captured three World Cup titles this season and is going after a fourth in Saturday’s giant slalom, mastered the icy Stelvio course in 1 minute, 40.08 seconds, beating teammate Fritz Strobl by a record 1.91 seconds.

It marked the greatest margin of victory in the history of World Cup super-G racing.

“In my last few races in the super-G, I didn’t risk much because I was playing a tactical game for the overall and super-G titles,” Maier said. “Having already won those titles, today I was able to go for broke.

“It was a more normal race for me because I was being very aggressive and powerful,” said Maier, who has won the World Cup super-G title the past three years. “It was my race.”

Austrians Andreas Schifferer and Werner Franz tied for third place in 1:42.06, giving the powerful Austrian men’s team its usual sweep of the top places.

Sweden’s Fredrik Nyberg edged American Daron Rahlves for fifth place.

Goetschl, who had already clinched the Super-G crown, piled up an unbeatable overall total of 1,567 points, with two races left. The victory was her second straight in super-G and third in the event this season.

“The overall is such a difficult goal to achieve that I can’t really believe I did it,” Goestchl said.

The triumph added another laurel to the impressive haul of the Austrian team, including the prestigious men’s and women’s overall crowns.

Superstar Hermann Maier clinched three World Cup titles and is going after his fourth in Saturday’s giant slalom.

Goetschl failed to defend her downhill crown _ a title she also held in 1997 _ losing on Wednesday to Germany’s Regina Haeusl by a mere five points.

But the 24-year-old has had an impressive season, winning six races to reach a career total of 16.

She completed the 2,030-meter long Super-G in one minute, 17.89 seconds, edging Germany’s Martina Ertl by six hundredths of a second.

Another Austrian, Brigitte Obermoser, placed third, .08 behind the winner

In the men’s race, Rahlves, winner of two consecutive downhill races in Norway earlier this month, managed sixth place despite losing one ski pole midway down the course after hitting a gate at high speed.

Maier, who already clinched the overall, downhill and super-G crystal globes this season, shouted and raised his arms in triumph as he crossed the finish line.

He secured the downhill title Wednesday by finishing second to teammate Hannes Trinkl.

Maier enters Saturday’s giant slalom race with a commanding 83-point lead over teammate Christian Mayer and sits 94 ahead of Switzerland’s Michael Von Gruenigen, the reigning World Cup champion in the discipline.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press