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November 15, 2009

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Home » Sports » Skiing

Riesch hits stride to edge Vonn

GERMANY'S Maria Riesch edged arch-rival Lindsey Vonn to win the season-opening women's World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland, yesterday.

World champion Riesch posted a combined time of one minute 48.71 seconds in her favorite discipline, 0.08 ahead of the American Vonn.

Local favorite Tanja Poutiainen, winner of the opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, last month, was third, 1.16 adrift, while Riesch's sister Susanne was fourth.

"Whatever people might think, this is kind of a surprise for me because slalom is the discipline in which I felt the worst in training," said Riesch, who took her debut slalom win in Levi in 2004.

"It's true I feel at home here after three podiums and it allowed me to give my all."

Austrian Marlies Schild, the 2007 and 2008 slalom World Cup winner, took a morale-boosting sixth place in her first World Cup race back after missing the whole of last season with a double leg fracture.

Olympic champion Anja Paerson blundered in the second leg but her fourth best time in the morning run showed the Swede was back approaching her best in a discipline she has overlooked in recent seasons.

The women's circuit crosses the Atlantic and resumes with a giant slalom and a slalom in Aspen, Colorado, in two weeks' time.


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