Lindsey Vonn won a women’s World Cup downhill on Saturday for her 36th career victory in the discipline, matching Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s all-time best mark.
Vonn, who held a comfortable lead after the first run, finished in an aggregate time of 2 minutes, 11.17 seconds, one second ahead of Larisa Yurkiw of Owen Sound, Ont.
Yurkiw returned to the resort where she made her World Cup debut nine years ago, finishing 58th in a downhill.
“Today after the first run I thought this is my chance to show what I’ve learned’,” said the Canadian, who is traveling the World Cup circuit with her own team.
Yurkiw called racing against Vonn “a constant challenge. She is a good competitor though she is not unbeatable. But today she was.”
Cornelia Huetter of Austria was 1.66 behind in third. Overall leader Lara Gut failed to finish the opening run and didn’t score points. The Swiss skier remains in the lead, 58 points clear of Vonn. It was the first women’s two-run downhill on a shortened course in 14 years.
Moser-Proell, who set the record in January 1980, watched the race from the stands and the 62-year-old Austrian great was among the first to congratulate Vonn.
“She is so kind,” said Vonn, who broke Moser-Proell’s overall record of 62 victories a year ago in Italy. “I am so glad she’s here today as she couldn’t be in Cortina last year. It means a lot to me. She is a true legend of our sport.”
The American, who now has 72 World Cup wins across all Alpine disciplines, already held the record for most super-G victories with 25. That discipline was introduced in the 1980s after Moser-Proell had retired.
“I am very happy,” said Vonn, competing in her first race of 2016 after taking a break with friends and family in the United States last week. “So far I like the new year.”
With her third downhill of the season, Vonn extended her lead in the discipline standings. She has 300 points, followed by Heutter on 250 and Swiss skier Fabienne Suter, who is out injured for an indefinite time, on 200.
It was the first women’s downhill in 14 years to be contested over two runs. Organizers had to lower the start because of insufficient snow conditions in the upper part, shortening the course from its usual 3 kilometers to 1,875 meters.
Source: CBC Sports