Italy’s Innerhofer bests 3 Austrians on way to third downhill win of season
Christof Innerhofer of Italy won his third World Cup downhill of the season Saturday in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on a course where he has a history of good results.
Innerhofer bested three Austrians to earn his sixth career victory, covering the 1.6-mile Kandahar course in 1 minute 37.83 seconds to beat Georg Streitberger by 0.12 of a second. Streitberger was the 30th runner out of the gate and Innerhofer wiped his brow symbolically when the Austrian crossed the line. Klaus Kroell finished third.
WOMEN’S DOWNHILL: Carolina Ruiz Castillo upset Maria Hoefl-Riesch to win a World Cup downhill race in Meribel, France, 13 years after her only previous podium finish.
Ruiz Castillo, 31, previously had placed in the top 10 only eight times in her World Cup career and had never finished higher than seventh in a downhill. The Spaniard’s previous podium was a second-place finish in a giant slalom in 2000 at the Italian resort of Sestriere, Italy.
WOMEN’S LUGE: Olympic champion Tatjana Hufner edged out two other Germans to win the women’s singles in the final World Cup meet of the season in Sochi, Russia, site of next year’s winter Olympics.
Natalie Geisenberger, the current world champion and Olympic bronze medalist, finished second, but had already won the overall World Cup before the competition started. Anke Wischnewski was third.
Geisenberger had the fastest time of the day at 50.894 seconds in the first run, but Hufner’s two-run combined time of 1:41.922 was 0.038 faster. Wischnewski placed second in the overall standings, with Hufner third.
MEN’S SKI JUMPING: Norwegian Anders Bardal won his first major title by taking gold in the normal hill event at the Nordic skiing world championships in Val Di Fiemme, Italy.
Bardal had the longest jump of the day with 103.5 meters in the first round and finished with a total of 252.6 points. Overall World Cup leader Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria was 4.2 points back in second and Peter Prevc of Slovenia was third.
Schlierenzauer’s coach decided to start him lower down the ramp in a bid to pick up bonus points. He was the only top-eight finisher who failed to get at least one jump past the 100-meter mark.
Defending champion Thomas Morgenstern was fifth.
WOMEN’S CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Marit Bjoergen successfully defended another title at the Nordic skiing world championships, winning the 15-kilometer pursuit skiathlon in Val Di Fiemme, Italy.
Bjoergen sped clear of Therese Johaug coming into the stadium to cross the line in 39:4.4. Johaug was 3.4 seconds back to take silver, and Heidi Weng beat Kristin Stoermer Steira in a sprint for the bronze medal.
MOGULS: Canadians Mikael Kingsbury and Audrey Robichaud won World Cup races in Inawashiro, Japan.
Kingsbury, the defending World Cup champion, scored 23.41 points to secure his sixth title this season. Bradley Wilson of the United States was second, followed by Alex Bilodeau of Canada.