Mon, Jan 23, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Dorfmeister wins mind game in downhill event

WINTER SPORTS Michaela Dorfmeister worked with a mental trainer to become better prepared for pressure


Tatjana Huefner was second at 1:30.761 and Barbara Niedernhuber was third in 1:30.936 as the German women maintained their stranglehold on the sport.

The 35-year-old Kraushaar, who leads the World Cup standings, established herself as the favorite for the Olympics, which start Feb. 10.

"In an Olympic season like this, this title was very important," Kraushaar said. "With a season like this, I can go to the Olympics relaxed, although this doesn't mean I am a lock to win."

Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch won their third straight European Championship gold in men's doubles in 1:29.824, ahead of fellow Germans Sebastian Schmidt and Andre Forker at 1:29.886.

Christian Oberstolz and Patric Gruber of Italy were third in 1:29.924.

Several lugers said the races should have been postponed because of the snow covering the track. They included Sylke Otto, the reigning Olympic champion, who finished sixth in the women's race.

"I could have built a snowman on the track -- that was irregular," the German said.

Nicola Rodigari of Italy won the men's 500m race on Saturday at the European Short-Track Speedskating Championships, a day after winning the 1,500m.

Rodigari finished in 42.613 seconds. Pieter Gysel of Belgium took second in 43.497 and Russia's Sergei Prankevitch was third in 43.590.

In the women's 500m, Evgenia Radanova of Bulgaria won in 45.174. Radanova also won the 1,500m on Friday.

Arianna Fontana of Italy was second in 45.562, and Russia's Tatiana Borodulina took third at 46.045.

Former Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy said in a newspaper interview that French skiing is "heading for catastrophe."

Killy, a triple Olympic gold medalist at the 1968 Winter Games, told the Journal du Dimanche that French skiing lacks structure.

"The French system is not solid enough to produce regular results," Killy said. "If there are not improvements between now and the 2009 worlds at Val d'Isere, we will be heading for catastrophe."

Killy is not optimistic about French medal hopes at next month's Turin Games.

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