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Motivated Vonn wins 3d straight downhill

By Eric Willemsen
Associated Press / January 9, 2010

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HAUS IM ENNSTAL, Austria - Nothing like a “stupid’’ comment about her weight to make Lindsey Vonn ski faster.

She won her third straight World Cup downhill yesterday and regained the overall standings lead from Maria Riesch of Germany.

Austrian media this week reported that Vonn, the reigning downhill and overall champion, would have an advantage in speed events because she was carrying additional weight.

“Any time people say stupid things in the media, it always makes me more motivated to try to ski faster,’’ Vonn said. “It’s obvious that I am an athlete and not an overweight person, so I thought it was pretty ridiculous. It just added fuel to the fire.’’

Vonn raced the course in 1 minute 38.84 seconds to beat Anja Paerson of Sweden by 0.35 seconds. Riesch took third, 0.39 behind the American.

“I really attacked today,’’ said Vonn, who is skiing with a bruised left arm after a crash in Lienz last month but still posted the fastest first intermediate time. She is unbeaten in downhill since February 2008.

Former slalom champion Giorgio Rocca pulled a muscle in training and might miss the Vancouver Olympics. The Italian Winter Sports Federation said Rocca injured the thigh-groin area and will miss this weekend’s races in Switzerland . . . Two-time overall champion Bode Miller will try to earn a spot in the Olympic giant slalom when he returns to racing today after a three-week injury break. US coach Sasha Rearick said Miller spent the holidays in California and his injured ankle swelled during the flight.