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Dressen wins downhill switched from China to Saalbach

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Saalbach (Austria) (AFP)

German Thomas Dressen won Thursday's alpine skiing World Cup downhill which was moved to Saalbach from its original venue in China because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Dressen edged Beat Feuz by 0.07sec, delaying the Swiss skier's coronation as the season's downhill champion.

Feuz is chasing a third consecutive small crystal globe for the discipline and tops the downhill standings on 600 points, a lead of 194 over Dressen with two races remaining.

Third in the Austrian Alps was Feuz's compatriot Mauro Caviezel at 0.09 sec but overall World Cup contender Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway had to settle for 10th.

Kilde remained second in the big crystal globe standings, 21 points behind his compatriot Henrik Kristoffersen ahead of Friday's super-G.

For Dressen, this was a fifth World Cup success, all in downhill, and the third this season after Lake Louise and on home snow at Garmisch.

Saalbach stepped in to replace the two races scheduled for this weekend in the Chinese resort of Yanqing which were to have served as the first test events for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

The death toll in China from the new COVID-19 coronavirus has gone beyond 1,360 with nearly 60,000 infections.

A host of sporting events have either been cancelled or postponed because of the outbreak including the Chinese Grand Prix and the World Indoor Athletics Championships.

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