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WORLD SPORT

Austrians celebrate triple triumph

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Goetschl celebrates her ninth World Cup victory at the Italian venue

CORTINA, Italy -- Austria are celebrating a triple triumph as Renate Goetschl took the Cortina downhill while Michaela Dorfmeister secured the overall downhill title.

The Cortina result followed on from Hermann Maier's sparkling downhill success at Garmisch.

Goetschl, who has eight previous wins at Cortina but has been in poor form this season, clocked one minute 09.64 seconds to finish ahead of American Julia Mancuso by just 0.05 seconds.

Mancuso's second place came after her first World Cup podium in Friday's super-G. Like Goetschl's win in it was a big boost to her confidence before next month's Winter Olympics in Turin.

Austrian Elisabeth Goergl was third while Dorfmeister's fourth place means she cannot be caught in the World Cup downhill standings with just one downhill left in the World Cup season.

The only skier who went into Saturday's race with a chance of catching Dorfmeister, American Lindsey Kildow, finished in ninth position.

Defending women's overall World Cup champion Sweden's Anja Paerson, who won Friday's super-G race, opted not to ski.

Goetschl has now won four downhills at Cortina and triumphed five times in super-G at the Dolomite venue but her latest victory comes after a disappointing season.

The Austrian, a bronze medallist in downhill at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City four years ago, failed to make the podium until her second place in downhill at St Moritz last week and spent much of the campaign well outside the top 10.

"That was one of my greatest wins -- after all that I have gone through I am finally back," said Goetschl.

"It wasn't easy for me to wait for so long for a win but now I feel that everything is coming together for me," she said.

Dorfmeister was pleased to have claimed the crystal globe awarded to the winner of each World Cup discipline but was criticial of the course conditions after heavy snow led to a delayed start on a shortened track.

"I'm really happy to win the globe. It feels strange to have it won it so early, in January," she said, "Nonetheless it was not a good downhill -- the course was too short and too dangerous," said the Austrian.

Mancuso, a bronze medallist in super-G and giant slalom at last year's world championships, is emerging as the U.S.'s best hope for a women's Olympic medal after hitting top form here.

"I'll remember this weekend for all of my life," she said.

"Friday's podium really helped me a lot of course but I have had a lot of problems this season and I think yesterday marked the end of those problems. I needed to put everything together and the right time to do that was this weekend," added Mancuso.

Janica Kostelic, who leads the overall World Cup standings, finished in 13th place.

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