Overall World Cup champ Lindsey Vonn clinched the season-opening super-G on Sunday, storming down the mountain to avenge a pair of downhill losses to German rival Maria Riesch.
Olympic downhill gold medalist Vonn claimed her 11th career super-G title and extended her win streak at Lake Louise to seven straight years by finishing in a time of one minute 20.72 seconds.
Riesch was second in 1:21.55, while American Julia Mancuso was third in 1:21.61 on the 1.97km Whitehorn Mountain course.
“Today I dropped the hammer a little bit more and believed in myself,” said Vonn, who barely escaped a near-crash on Saturday. “For me the bottom line is never giving up.”
Under sunny skies with temperatures noticeably chillier at -minus-20oC than the first two days of racing, Riesch seized the lead after starting from the 10th position.
She got a scare five skiers later when Mancuso charged out of the gate only to lose time on the flats. Riesch held onto the lead until skier No. 22 when Vonn attacked the hill with vengeance.
Since her maiden World Cup victory here in 2004, the 26-year-old Vonn has captured at least one race in the Canadian Rockies, fashioning a dominating five-straight downhill win streak. Sunday was her first super-G win at Lake Louise.
“I have won the downhill here many times but never the super-G, so I am extremely happy,” Vonn said. “I always somehow get the win taken away from me here in Lake Louise in super-G and I have always lost by a very small margin so I wanted to make sure there was no room for doubt.”
Riesch captured back-to-back downhills on Friday and Saturday with Vonn coming in second both times as the two continue to play musical chairs with the top podium spots. Riesch won her first downhill in the Canadian Rockies in 2006.
Olympic downhill silver medalist Mancuso finishing sixth in Saturday’s downhill.
She also posted the fastest time in the second training run and at one point on Sunday looked like she might overtake Riesch for the lead, but lost time on the bottom half of the course.
Anna Fenninger and teammate Andrea Fischbacher finished fourth and fifth as the Austrian pair just missed out on the podium.
Riesch now has a 169-point lead over Vonn at the top of the overall World Cup standings.
MEN’S GIANT SLALOM
AP, BEAVER CREEK, Colorado
US skier Ted Ligety won a World Cup giant slalom on Sunday, edging Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud by 0.82 seconds.
So close to winning in the past on the closest thing the Americans have to a home hill, Ligety wasn’t about to settle for safe. He turned in two nearly flawless runs, including a hard-charging final descent.
“I didn’t want to hold back,” said Ligety, who has finished no worse than fourth in the GS at Beaver Creek since 2006. “I was just thinking I’d rather blow out having the lead than come down and feel like I choked. I was going hard and I was lucky to make it without any mistakes.”
Jansrud figured he had his first World Cup win after a fast final run, only to be foiled by his good friend who went down last.
Marcel Hirscher of Austria wound up third.
But this was Ligety’s time as he captured a World Cup race a few hours after Lindsey Vonn cruised to her super-G win in Lake Louise.
This was definitely a banner day for the Americans on the hill, producing two winners on the same afternoon for the first time in nearly four years.
“It’s really cool,” Ligety said. “It’s nice to have my name next to hers when she’s winning.”
Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht returned to racing and wound up in 21st place. Albrecht had a horrific crash nearly two years ago during a downhill training run at Kitzbuehel, Austria, that left him in a medically induced coma with brain and lung injuries.
The crowd gave Albrecht a rousing ovation after both of his runs.
Just his presence back on the mountain impressed Ligety, let alone his ability to be a factor in this race.
“That’s phenomenal. That’s really a credit to him and what a good skier he is now, and how really good he was before,” Ligety said.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on