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Vail’s Lindsey Vonn won a women’s two-run sprint World Cup downhill in Altenmarkt-Zauchemsee, Austria, on Saturday to tie Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s mark of 36 career downhill titles. It was the all-time record 72nd win of Vonn’s career, now 10 ahead of Moser-Proell.
Vonn won with a combined two-run time of 2 minutes, 11.17 seconds, a full second ahead of second-place Larisa Yurkiw of Canada. Overall World Cup leader Lara Gut didn’t finish the first run in the unusual downhill format that hasn’t been used since Vonn was 17 years old (more than 14 years ago).
Swiss star Gut didn’t score any points and saw her overall World Cup lead dwindle to 58 points over Vonn.
Here’s the press release from the U.S. Ski Team:
ALTENMARKT, Austria (Jan. 9, 2016) – Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) made history again, tying Annemarie Moser-Proell’s World Cup downhill victory record with win number 36 in a two-run Audi FIS World Cup sprint downhill Saturday.
“I’m really happy to tie Annemarie’s record with 36 wins,” Vonn said after the two-run event, the two-run downhill since 2002 in Åre, Sweden that Vonn also skied when she was 17 years old.
Canada’s Larisa Yurkiw was second, followed by Austria’s Cornelia Huetter in third. For the Americans it was a great day as Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) grabbed a top-10 spot, finishing eighth, while Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) was 18th and Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) was 26th. Breezy Johnson (Salt Lake City, UT), Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) and Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA) – who was skiing her first World Cup – did not qualify for the second run.
The sprint downhill format featured two runs on the same 25-gate course, with a flip of the top 30 for the second run. The format not only offered a change of pace, but a change of tactics as well.
“I like the two-run downhill – it’s nice to do something different,” said Vonn, who was the only athlete on the start list to have ever competed in a sprint downhill race. “I think the classic format is the best, but it’s nice to do something different. It’s nice to challenge yourself and there’s definitely a lot more pressure when you’re leading the first run.”
Vonn won the first run by 0.91, and extended her winning margin to a full second despite skiing a bit more conservatively in the second run.
“I definitely didn’t expect such a big advantage going into the second run. I skied a little more conservatively in the second run,” she said. “It was bumpy and a lot of girls were having trouble.”
Saturday’s victory pulled Vonn to within 58 points of overall World Cup leader Lara Gut, of Switzerland, who did not finish the first run of Saturday’s downhill. Vonn also leads of the downhill World Cup standings by 50 points over Huetter.
Up next, Vonn goes for World Cup win number 73 as she chases Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 World Cup victories in Sunday’s super G. The race will be streamed live on NBC Live Extra and broadcast live on NBCSN, starting at 5:30 a.m. ET.
I’m really happy to tie Annemarie’s record with 36 wins.
I like the two-run downhill – it’s nice to do something different. I think the classic format is the best, but it’s nice to do something different. It’s nice to challenge yourself and there’s definitely a lot more pressure when you’re leading the first run.
I definitely didn’t expect such a big advantage going into the second run. I skied a little more conservatively in the second run. It was bumpy and a lot of girls were having trouble.
BROADCAST (times EST)
Sunday, January 10
6:00 a.m. – Women’s super G, Altenmarkt, Austria, NBCSN