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Sweden's Ottosson Earns First World Cup Victory


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Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy Jan. 24 (AP by Vania Grandi)–Anna Ottosson wouldn’t let her tired legs keep her from getting back to the podium.

The Swede skied two impeccable runs down a steep and twisting giant slalom Sunday _ winning both _ clocking a combined time of 2 minutes, 45.76 seconds for her first World Cup victory.

Ottosson, runnerup in the season’s first giant slalom in October at Tignes, France, hadn’t been on the podium since.

“I fell in a giant slalom in December and it shook me up. It took a while to get back into form.”

Ottosson had a second- and third-place finishes in previous seasons.

“I like courses that are long and technical,” Ottosson, a giant slalom specialist, said.

She conceded, however, that her legs got very tired in the bottom section of the course and she had to push herself to stay aggressive.

“I didn’t know if I was skiing fast,” Ottosson said. “I just hoped I was.”

Canada’s Allison Forsyth and Liechtenstein’s Birgit Heeb tied for second at 2:46.63, nearly a second behind Ottosson.

The result matched Forsyth’s previous best, in a giant slalom at Lienz, Austria, in December. She was fourth at Maribor, Slovenia, earlier this month.

Forsyth is the only woman on the Canadian technical team _ something she says can be both good and bad.

“Positive because I am alone so everyone lets me train with them, the Austrians, the Swedes.” Forsyth said. “Negative because it’s tough not having teammates to hang out with and socialize.”

For Heeb, a five-year veteran of the ski tour, the second was her top result. Her previous best was third _ at Lienz, behind Forsyth.

“I made several errors on the second run, so I was surprised with my time,” Heeb said. “But I knew I could ski fast on such a demanding course.”

Wind gusts whipped across the hill during the second run, lifting up snow and forcing organizers to continually halt the race.

The wind and challenging hill caused problems for several skiers.

Switzerland’s Sonja Nef, winner of the season’s first giant slalom and now in second place in the event standings, lost her balance and crashed. So did Austrian veteran Anita Wachter, winner of 19 World Cups, and teammate Renate Goetschl, second in the overall standings.

Austrian Micheala Dorfmeister, who has dominated the giant slalom this season, made several mistakes and finished eighth.

Dorfmeister has won four of eight giant slaloms this season and leads both the giant slalom and overall World Cup standings. Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press