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Berthod wins downhill on home snow

Berthod heads for first place in Friday's downhill in St Moritz Keystone

The Swiss skier, Sylviane Berthod, has won Friday's World Cup downhill race in the Swiss resort of St Moritz.

Berthod eased her way past her nearest competitor, Italy’s Isolde Kostner, to win the race and so secure the first World Cup victory of her career.

The Swiss star’s win, in a time of 1:34.05, marks Switzerland’s first podium finish in eight World Cup races in St Moritz since 1999.

“It’s very difficult to absorb what happened to me today,” said the visibly emotional Berthod.

“I’ve been dreaming and hoping for this day. I was in the circle of podium finishers, and now I’m in the even tighter circle of World Cup winners. I’ll now have to fight hard to stay there.”

Kostner, who won the World Cup downhill crown last season on the strength of six podium finishes, had to settle for second place.

The Italian completed the course in 1:34.10, while Berthod’s Swiss compatriot, Corrine Rey-Bellet, took the remaining podium place after finishing with a time of 1:34.13.

Cuche finishes third

Meanwhile in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Swiss speed specialist, Didier Cuche, kept up his impressive start to the alpine skiing season with a third-place finish in Friday’s World Cup Giant Slalom.

Cuche secured his place on the podium with a time of 2:08.70, just behind American Bode Miller, who came in second.

Austria’s Benjamin Reich stole ahead of both his nearest competitors with a combined time of 2:07.46.

Swiss giant slalom specialist, Michael von Grünigen, improved on Thursday’s disappointing 18th place finish.

The reigning world champion came in sixth, just ahead of fellow Swiss Didier Defago.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR