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Vonn adds third globe to haul

AMERICAN Lindsey Vonn won the super-G crystal globe in Are, Sweden, yesterday after finishing ahead of rivals Nadia Fancini of Italy and German Maria Riesch in the season-ending World Cup finals.

Vonn, who has already won the downhill crystal globe and on Wednesday retained the women's overall World Cup title, clocked 1 minute 20.63 seconds to finish 0.08 seconds ahead of the Italian with Riesch a further 0.16 adrift in third.

The 24-year-old American has now notched up 22 World Cup victories, including nine this season.

Despite two mistakes, including snagging her pole in a gate close to the bottom of the course, the Minnesota-born racer had enough momentum to see her past Fanchini and Riesch.

Switzerland's Fabienne Suter, who arrived in Are as the leader in the super-G standings, finished a disappointing eighth, and saw her narrow 15-point lead over Vonn disappear.

Suter finally ended up in third spot on 408 points, 53 shy of Vonn. Fanchini, 22, leapfrogged into second in the discipline's classification, 45 points off Vonn.

"I didn't think I'd be capable of winning five straight super-G events," said the American. "And it's the first time an American woman has won the super-G globe."

In the overall World Cup standings, Vonn now stands streets ahead of her rivals on 1,788 points, with Riesch in second on 1,359 points and Sweden's Anja Paerson third on 1,035.

The American is skiing despite pain from her thumb, the tendon of which was sliced when she attempted to spray champagne from a bottle whose neck had been seared open in celebration of her downhill win at last month's world championships in Val d'Isere, France.

Also yesterday, Italy's Werner Heel won the men's super-G race with Aksel Lund Svindal taking the title in the discipline and moving closer to the overall crown.

Heel, who won a super-G at home in Val Gardena earlier this season, mastered the Are course in 1:13.41 for his third career victory.

His win was eclipsed by Norwegian Svindal, who finished in second place and 0.07 adrift to add a second super-G crystal globe to the one conquered in 2006.

Svindal, who missed most of last season through injury and lost his 2007 overall crown to American Bode Miller, now leads Austria's Benjamin Raich by 102 points with only two races remaining. A solid run in today's giant slalom would be enough to secure a second overall World Cup for the 26-year-old.

Raich, who is not a specialist, stayed in contention by finishing fourth and 0.21 behind Heel.

World champion Didier Cuche probably wasted his last chance for overall victory by ending 15th, 1.20 off the pace. The Swiss is now third and 150 points behind Svindal.

Heel's compatriot Christof Innerhofer also crowned a good season by finishing third in the day's race, 0.20 behind his teammate.

"This victory is a great satisfaction for me after the disappointment of Val d'Isere when the whole Italian team expected a lot and got little," said Heel, runner up in the super-G standings with 256 points to Svindal's 292.


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