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Surprise American win in World Cup downhill

Clark celebrates her first World Cup victory

(Keystone)

The United States' Kirsten Clark has taken first place at the World Cup women's downhill in the Swiss resort of Lenzerheide.

The 23-year old took advantage of initial sunny conditions to finish the course in one minute 27.07 seconds, securing the first World Cup victory of her career.

Newly-crowned super-G world champion Regine Cavagnoud of France came second in 1:27.41, while Germany's Petra Haltmayer took third place in 1:27.71.

Clark, who has never been placed higher than sixth in a World Cup race, was one of the first down the Scalottas course, and those with later starting times had to contend with heavy cloud cover which slowed down subsequent finishing times.

Switzerland's Corinne Rey-Bellet, currently 10th in the world rankings, could only manage fifth place, in a time of 1:27.82. Two other Swiss racers, Catherine Borghi and Ella Alpiger, finished 27th and 28th respectively.

But in a race full of upsets, Rey-Bellet found some consolation in finishing one place ahead of Italy's Isolde Kostner.

Kostner, currently top of the downhill rankings, finished in a disappointing sixth place.

There was further disappointment for the current world number two, Austria's Renate Goetschl, who finished out of the top ten and lost out on the chance of leapfrogging the Croatian, Janica Kostelic, to the top of the overall world ranking.

swissinfo with agencies


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