Wed, February 11, 2009
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Speed queen Vonn strikes double gold

2009-02-11 07:02:52 GMT2009-02-11 15:02:52 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Lindsey Vonn of the US celebrates her gold medal on the podium of the flower ceremony following the women's Downhill race at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2009 in the French resort of Val d'Isere February 9, 2009. [Agencies]

Lindsey Vonn of the US waves after winning the gold medal during the women's Downhill race at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2009 in the French resort of Val d'Isere February 9, 2009. [Agencies]

Lindsey Vonn of the US speeds down to win the women's Downhill race at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2009 in the French resort of Val d'Isere February 9, 2009. [Agencies]

VAL D'ISERE, France: American speed queen Lindsey Vonn struck double gold here on Monday when she won the women's downhill at the World Ski Championships to add to her Super-G title.

The 24-year-old, who won silver in the downhill at the 2007 worlds in Are, Sweden, made sure to top the podium this time around, rebounding from the disappointment of having been eliminated from the super combined event to dominate the field.

The leader in the World Cup overall standings clocked 1 minute and 30.31 seconds down the demanding 2,227-meter-long Rhone-Alpes course and mirrored Swedish Anja Paerson's double in the speed events two years ago.

"It was very difficult out there," said Vonn. "I was pretty nervous.

"But I believed in myself and fought all the way down. It's been an amazing day."

Swiss teenager Lara Gut showed that the silver she won in the super combined was no fluke by claiming another second place, 0.52sec adrift of Vonn, while Italian Nadia Fancini took bronze a further five-hundredths off the pace.

Gut, 17, revealed that she had overcome stomach ache to race.

"I feel very proud to have put in this performance and achieved a silver medal," she said. "It's amazing to get two medals. Last night and before and after the race today I had stomach ache."

She added that she was not expecting to have been in front for so long - from her bib number six start through to Vonn's run from 21st position.

"I wasn't convinced about the quality of my run. And when Lindsey came down I thought 'great, I can go back to the hotel now'.

"It was important to me to put in a good performance today because I didn't want people thinking I was a fly-by-night.

"The downhill is very prestigious in our sport and to medal is just fantastic."

Reigning champion Paerson looked to have skied herself into a podium place when she topped the first two time checks.

But one mistake on a tight turn saw her drop valuable seconds and she finished a disappointing 2.32 seconds down on Vonn's scorching run.

The Swede has had a horror show here, straddling a gate in the Super-G and not even starting the super combined slalom after missing a gate.

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