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Fischbacher wins Bansko downhill, Vonn retains world crown

Latest update : 2009-02-28

Austria's Andrea Fischbacher claimed the downhill race in Bansko, Bulgaria, as America's Lindsey Vonn secured the women's World Cup downhill title for the second year running despite a modest 12th place finish behind the Austrian winner.

REUTERS - Andrea Fischbacher used her super-G skills to perfection to give Austria their first victory in a women's downhill for nearly two years on Saturday.

Fischbacher, who was second on the tricky Banderiza course behind Swiss Fabienne Suter in Friday's first downhill, won the second World Cup victory of her career in one minute 45.81 seconds.

Austria's women had not won a World Cup downhill since Renate Goetschl in March 2007 in Lenzerheide.

Fischbacher, the super-G bronze medallist at the world championships in Val d'Isere earlier this month, beat Slovenia's Tina Maze by 0.26 seconds. Suter made it on to the podium again, in third place, 0.39 off the pace.

American World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn, still struggling with a cut thumb and the pain of a crash in practice, had to be content with joint 12th place, a disappointing result as her main World Cup rival, Maria Riesch, finished in front of her in eighth.

Vonn earned the consolation of retaining her downhill World Cup title and still leads Germany's Riesch by 336 points in the overall standings, making her a clear favourite to keep her overall crown.

"Within a year I won my first World Cup victory, my first world championship medal and my first downhill. What more could I wish for?" said Fischbacher, 23.

"Yesterday I had visibility problems but today was just great. I hope the weather stays the same for tomorrow's super-G."

Anja Paerson, third in the overall standings, failed to finish a race for the third time in succession.

The Swede stopped shortly after the start and held her knee. She now trails Vonn by nearly 500 points in the standings.
 

Date created : 2009-02-28