Vonn takes Garmisch downhill for 77th win

Source:AFP Published: 2017/1/21 23:38:39

US ski queen Lindsey Vonn announced her return to form on Saturday, after nearly a year out with injury, with victory in the downhill at Garmisch, her 77th World Cup win.

Vonn, sidelined after breaking her arm in November following a fractured knee last February, surged down the icy Kandahar course in 1 minute and 43.41 seconds to claim win.

Swiss star Lara Gut, last season's overall World Cup winner, finished second at 0.15 seconds behind with Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg third at 0.48.

The 32-year-old Vonn chalked up her 77th World Cup victory, edging her closer to ­Ingemar Stenmark's all-time record of 86 wins.

"It's unbelievable, it's hard to find the right words," an emotional Vonn said. "I came into the finish and saw the green light next to my name. I just lay on the floor, because I couldn't believe it.

"I gave everything, it was hard to find the necessary bravery, but I took a few steps forward in the last few days."

Third-placed Rebensburg was impressed with Vonn's ­performance and predicts she can go faster.

"That was a strong performance. I didn't expect it from her, because she had a few problems in training," said the German. "It's impressive, because you get the feeling that she's not yet skiing at her limit."

Vonn made her return to competition last week when she had to be content with a disappointing 13th at Altenmarkt, Austria. But there was no stopping her in the Bavarian Alps as she flew out of the start gate and consistently picked up speed down the course.

The four-time overall World Cup winner also won last year's downhill in Garmisch, before injury struck, and now has won seven times in the Bavarian Alps, either in super-G, downhill or slalom.

Vonn broke her right arm in a training fall at Copper Mountain in Colorado in November.

It was the latest in a line of serious injuries to beset Vonn, which had kept her out of racing since February 2016, when she fractured her left knee racing in Andorra.

Her downhill victory is perfect timing ahead of the world skiing championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from February 6 to 19.

The 2010 Olympic downhill champion last won the event's world championship title in Val d'Isere in 2009.


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