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Vonn proves she's a contender in training run

LINDSEY Vonn led downhill training at the world championships yesterday despite standing up out of her tuck for the final 200 meters.

Vonn is on a three-race winning streak, having won the super-G that opened the championships on Tuesday and two World Cup races in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, last weekend.

"I just have a good feeling on my skis right now and I'm just relaxed, trying to execute the line," Vonn said. "Things are working well for me so far. But today was just a training run and I definitely wasn't skiing 100 percent, so tomorrow there's definitely going to be more attack."

Vonn clocked 1 minute, 18.65 seconds. Marie Marchand-Arvier of France placed second, 0.38 seconds behind, and Andrea Fischbacher of Austria was third, 0.52 back ?? matching the super-G podium.

The Rhone-Alpes course was shortened to the super-G start due to wind and snow on the upper reaches of the track.

Vonn intentionally skipped several gates in the opening training session on Wednesday.

"That was important for me to get one full run in before the race tomorrow," she said, looking ahead to tomorrow's super-combi race - which consists of a shortened downhill run and a slalom leg.

Swiss teenager Lara Gut placed fourth after leading Wednesday's opening training session, and Elisabeth Goergl of Austria, a possible challenger to Vonn in the super-combi, was fifth.

Maria Riesch of Germany placed 26th after crashing a day earlier, and defending champion Anja Paerson of Sweden struggled in 27th.

Italian skier Nadia Fanchini crashed in downhill training at the world championships yesterday but appeared to escape serious injury.

Fanchini lost her edge on a sharp turn and slammed into the safety fencing at high speed. She got right back up and appeared bruised.

Fanchini won her first World Cup race in a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, in December.


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