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Lindsey Vonn clinches third straight downhill victory

The USA's Lindsey Vonn showed once again she was the downhill queen as she claimed her third World Cup win in a row on Friday in Haus im Ennstal (Austria) ahead of Swede Anja Parson, the 2007 world champion, and Germany's Maria Riesch.

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AFP - Lindsey Vonn of the United States made it three in a row when she bounced back from a bone bruise to win the women's World Cup downhill race here on Friday.

The reigning world champion and two-time World Cup winner clocked 1min 38.84sec to finish 0.35sec ahead of Swede Anja Parson, the 2007 world champion, and Germany's Maria Riesch.

The 25-year-old American also overtakes Riesch in the overall World Cup standings after the race which replaced the postponed event at Val d'Isere, France in mid-December.

"This win gives me back my confidence," said Vonn, who suffered a bone bruise to her left arm after falling heavily in the giant slalom in Lienz ten days ago.

"I already know where I can do better. I was good at the top but lower down I made some mistakes. I'm going to look at that again on video."

It was the 26th victory for Vonn and her fourth since October.

She has the chance to pull further ahead in the second downhill on Saturday and Sunday's super-G here.

Riesch admitted she paid for her mistakes.

"I was faster than Lindsey over some sections, but it wasn't a perfect race," said the German.

"I'm satisfied with this podium, I'm not too worried about how many points I lost.

"Lindsey is still tough to beat in the downhill. For it to work everything has to be perfect for me and she has to make mistakes."

Former ski queen Parson finds herself on the podium again for the first time this season.

"It's a good start in the downhill for the new year," said the former world champion in the discipline. "A good start before the (Winter) Games.

"Today the battle was at the bottom of the piste. I also made mistakes. I think I can go even faster."

Italy had two skiers in the top six with Nadia Fanchini fourth and Daniela Merighetti, joint sixth with France's Marie Marchand-Arvier.

Austria failed to feature after Maria Holaus injured her right ankle in training with their top finisher Andrea Fischbacher in eighth as Elisabeth Gorgl set just the 23rd time.

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