Vonn dominates Schladming downhill; closer to World Cup record
Mar 14, 2012, 14:21 GMT
Schladming, Austria - Lindsey Vonn of the United States stormed to victory Wednesday in the women's downhill to stay on track to beat the all-time points record for an alpine ski World Cup season.
Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway clinched the men's downhill, while the season's title for the discipline was won by Austria's Klaus Kroell.
Vonn posted 1 minute 46.56 seconds in Schladming to leave Marion Rolland of France trailing by 0.92 seconds, and Tina Maze of Slovenia 1.22 seconds back in third place.
'This is definitely my best season,' said a jubilant Vonn. 'Twelve victories are really incredible.
'Tomorrow is another battle. My goal is to get 2,000 points. I had never thought that I could make so many points.'
Vonn, who had already clinched the overall World Cup title as well as the downhill crystal globe, advances to 1,908 points in the overall standings.
With three races remaining, she is close to Croatian Janica Kostelic's women's record of 1,970 points established in 2006, and the all-time record of 2,000 points set by Austrian Hermann Maier in March 2000.
Victory in Thursday's super-g in Schladming would take her past the record and also secure the discipline's title.
With her 12th World Cup victory of the season, Vonn moves closer to former Swiss ski legend Vreni Schneider's record in 1989 of 14.
This was also the 53rd victory of Vonn's career, and she is well-placed to equal Schneider's 55 World Cup wins - second on the all-time list.
Vonn, who won downhill and super-g golds at the 2009 world championships and a downhill gold at the 2010 Olympics, is already the most successful US skier in alpine skiing history.
In the overall standings, Maze is now 562 points behind Vonn, while Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch is in third place (1,195 points).
Svindal posted 1 minute 46.81 seconds to edge Beat Feuz of Switzerland by 0.57 seconds, and Hannes Reichelt of Austria by 0.67 seconds.
'My goal is the overall World Cup next year,' said Svindal.
Didier Cuche of Switzerland ended the last downhill of the season and his career without a bang when a mistake cost him his chances of winning the discipline's title.
'This was not the farewell I wished for,' said Cuche. 'I'm disappointed - but not because I didn't win the globe, but because of my performance.'
Kroell finished seventh to beat Feuz by seven points for the downhill crystal globe, while Cuche almost crashed out but recovered to finish 17th.
'This is by far my greatest success,' said Kroell.
'The first victory in Kvitfjell was a dream, and now I have won the globe.'
Feuz (1,330 points) extended his lead over Marcel Hirscher of Austria by 135 points in the overall standings, while Svindal moved 1,131 points. Technical specialist Hirscher did not compete.
Feuz said, 'I just want to compete in great races - that will satisfy me.'
Three races remain in the World Cup season. The finals continue in Schaldming Thursday with the super-g.
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