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Record-breaking Maze wins Garmisch downhill

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Left to right, Laurenne Ross, Tina Maze, Maria Höfl-Riesch . Photo: DPA
17:31 CET+01:00
Tina Maze won the women's downhill in the Alpine Skiing World Cup event held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria on Saturday, breaking Hermann Maier's 13-year-old record for the most World Cup points collected in a season.

Maze's current tally of 2024 beats Maier's record of 2000 points, set by the Austrian legend in the 1999-2000 season, with the Slovenian already confirmed as the season's overall winner.

"To get over 2000 points in a season is incredible, it's an amazing thing to do," said Maze. "I'm very proud, but it probably won't sink in until the season is over."

The 29-year-old produced a superb technical display down the 3km Khandahar course, leading at every split, with a winning time of 1min 40.46sec, having finished third in Friday's Super-G on the same piste.

"It's really special to win the downhill," said Maze, who performed a cartwheel and used her skies as an air guitar to celebrate her first victory in the downhill, meaning she has won in all five ski disciplines this season.

"This season, I had skied well in the downhill, but never managed to cross the finish line with a faultless performance. I had a bit of luck in St Moritz, when I won my first downhill (in February 2008), but there was no luck involved today, it's incredible and I'm very happy."

Laurenne Ross of the United States came second while German favourite Maria Höfl-Riesch, who suffered with a stomach bug on Friday, produced a battling display to finish third.

Racing was suspended for 20 minutes after Alice McKennis of the United States fractured her right leg during a heavy crash on one of the final bends before being evacuated by helicopter to hospital.

It was Maze's 20th World Cup podium place of the season and her ninth victory on the circuit having already had her status as overall World Cup winner confirmed at Meribel last weekend.

Maze's downhill win leaves her just a point behind US ski star Lindsey Vonn, who is out injured, in the discipline's standings with one downhill race left this season, in the finale at Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on March 13.

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"I am looking forward to tackling Lenzerheide, I really like the course and I really want to win the downhill (World Cup) globe," she said. "That's something which is close to my heart."

With seven races left, Maze can extend her overall tally further in Sunday's Super-G, her specialist event as world champion, in the final race here before the World Cup moves onto Ofterschwang, Germany next weekend.

AFP/jlb

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