Anja Paerson wins super-G for 2nd victory in 24 hours
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – Olympic slalom champion Anja Paerson won a women’s World Cup super-G on Sunday for her second victory in 24 hours.The Swede finished the Corviglia course in 1 minute, 15.06 seconds, to edge Canada’s Emily Brydon by 0.04.”It’s just amazing … yesterday I was just thinking about getting across the finish line because this is such a tough super-G course,” Paerson said. “I maybe made a couple of mistakes but I kept everything under control right to the end.”The second-place finish was Brydon’s best career result. The Canadian previously had four third-place finishes spanning the last seven years.Renate Goetschl was third, 0.22 off the pace, for her third podium finish of the season.Julia Mancuso lost half a second in the final interval but still posted the top American result, tying for 10th with Canada’s Britt Janyk in 1:15.57. U.S. teammate Lindsey Vonn placed 12th.It marked Paerson’s 37th career win and the seventh time she’s posted World Cup wins on successive days.Paerson’s last back-to-back World Cup victories were at San Sicario, Italy, in February 2005 when she first won a super-G before posting her first career downhill victory.After a listless beginning, Paerson has kickstarted her season at the Swiss resort.Paerson had shone last season, winning the downhill, super-G and combined gold medals at the world championships at home in Are, Sweden, but found herself struggling since the season reopened in October and had failed to place better than seventh until this weekend.A seven-time world champion, Paerson won both races here by very small margins. On Saturday she edged Vonn by 0.08 to post her first win of the season and her first in downhill since March 2006.The weekend’s races – a downhill and a super-G – were moved to St. Moritz from Val d’Isere because of a lack of snow at the French resort.With the win, Paerson overtook Marlies Schild to lead the overall standings. Paerson has 383 points, with Nicole Hosp climbing into second with 379. Paerson also leads the super-G rankings with 136 points after two races.Palander wins giant slalom for 3rd time on Gran Risa; Ligety finishes 5thALTA BADIA, Italy – Kalle Palander got his third career giant slalom victory on the Gran Risa course Sunday and American Ted Ligety skied the fastest second run to finish fifth.The Finnish skier led the first run and his two-run combined time was 2 minutes, 30.92 seconds.Olympic giant slalom champion Benjamin Raich of Austria finished second, 0.42 seconds behind, to retake the overall World Cup lead from Didier Cuche, who fell in the first leg.Marc Berthod of Switzerland was third, 0.45 back.The 30-year-old Palander won here in 2003 and 2006 and also finished second once.Only Alberto Tomba, with four victories, has won more on the Gran Risa.”When I was 15 or 16 watching Alberto win on TV I told my brother that I would also do what he did and he laughed at me,” Palander said.Ligety, the American who leads the GS standings, was penalized by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for showing up four minutes late to Saturday’s public draw. By rule, he was forced to start 46th instead of within the top 15 and fined $867.Ligety was 10th after the opening run then skied the fastest second run to finish fifth, 0.58 seconds behind.”I think it’s a really, really stupid rule,” Ligety said. “I feel like if it was one of the other guys, like Benni Raich or something, someone would have been there to protest.”Usually, the first athletes down have the advantage of skiing a fresh course, while later starters have to deal with ruts and bumps. This time, Ligety said, the Gran Risa was in good enough shape that it didn’t make a big difference. U.S. coach Greg Needell set the second leg.Ligety holds a 235-212 lead on Raich in the GS standings.”It’s a little bit too harsh,” Palander said. “I think they should make you pay a fine first. He was two minutes late and we were waiting there for 20 minutes anyway, so he wasn’t really late.”Bode Miller skied off course in the first run when one of his bindings came apart while he leaned hard into a turn. The ski dislodged from Miller’s boot and continued down the slope by itself. Miller skied the rest of the way with one ski but was out of the race.”There was so much force going on, it was just bad luck really,” Miller said after a long discussion with his ski rep Rainer Salzgeber, the chief of Head’s racing department.”A screw popped out,” Salzgeber said. “It shouldn’t happen. We would have to do an X-ray on the ski to find out exactly what happened.”Several other top challengers also had problems with the tight course setting for the first run by Austrian coach Christian Hoeflehner.Max Blardone, the Italian who won the GS in Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria, last weekend, made a big error six seconds in and nearly fell. He finished 29th, barely making the top 30 to qualify for the second run, then skied the second-fastest second leg to finish eighth.Cuche made a more costly error, fell and got back up but did not qualify for the second leg.Raich leads Cuche 521-453 in the overall standings.
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