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Gisin claims second straight downhill win

SWISS Dominique Gisin won her second World Cup downhill in a row with victory at Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy yesterday.

Gisin, who shared her first career downhill victory last weekend in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee with Swede Anja Paerson, finished alone in top spot in a time of one minute 16.98 seconds.

The podium was the same as last week in Austria but in a different order, American Lindsey Vonn coming second, 0.15 seconds adrift and just 0.02 ahead of Paerson.

"To win one race was fantastic but two is unbelievable, especially in Cortina, where the greatest skiers have won," Gisin told reporters.

"Now I want to keep my feet on the ground. I can't compare myself with Anja, who won countless medals in her career, or Lindsey, who won so many races and the World Cup."

The 23-year-old Swiss was fifth in Are but then tore her knee ligaments, an injury which kept her out of competition for several months.

With the world championships in Val d'Isere starting in just over a week, Paerson and Vonn, gold and silver medalists in Are two years ago, should again be strong contenders.

Paerson led for most of the course but slowed down after injuring her knee in a jump.

Winner of the first downhill of the season in Lake Louise, Alberta, Vonn is not as unbeatable in the discipline as she was last year when she bagged five victories but she retained the overall World Cup lead on 856 points.

Germany's Maria Riesch, who finished fifth in Cortina, is second with 810 points ahead of Paerson on 762.

"January is not exactly going according to plans. I'm not disappointed but let's face it, I wanted to win this," Vonn said.

Vonn also holds a 240-226 lead over Gisin in the downhill ranks.

The hunt for World Cup points continues in the Italian resort today with a giant slalom.

In Kitzbuehel, Austria, Didier Defago of Switzerland won a World Cup downhill race for his second victory in eight days.

Defago charged down the famed Streif course in 1 minute, 56.09 seconds yesterday to beat Michael Walchhofer of Austria by 0.17 seconds. The Swiss had also won a World Cup downhill in his native Wengen last Saturday.

Austria's Klaus Kroell, who won Friday's super-G, took third, 0.29 behind.


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