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Surprise victory for Gina Stecher in women's downhill

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-02-22

For her maiden World Cup victory, Germany's Gina Stechert stole the show from America's Lindsey Vonn in the women's downhill in Tarvisio, Italy. Vonn was pipped into second place, while Sweden's Anja Pärson took third place.

AFP - Germany's Gina Stechert won the women's alpine skiing downhill here on Saturday for her first ever World Cup success.

The 21-year-old timed 1min 59.94sec to edge out American Lindsey Vonn, who was also second in Friday'ssuper combined, by one hundredths of a second with Sweden's Anja Paerson .39s adrift in third.

Vonn consolidated her position at the top of the overall World Cup standings and in the race for the downhill title.

Stechert's best placing before this success on the longest piste on the women's circuit was a fourth in the downhill at Lake Louise in December and her victory came as a welcome surprise.

"I am just coming to terms with the victory," she said.

"Everything went perfectly. It really is an amazing surprise. I felt good the whole way down, which was reflected in the time."

However, she confessed that it had been an each way decision whether she pursued her sporting career or her studies.

"I only joined the first team in 2008, after sitting my school leaving exams.

"I would like to resume my studies but for the moment, I am going to focus on skiing."

Date created : 2009-02-21