Lindsey Vonn wins downhill race, ties 36-year record for downhill victories

With the win Saturday, Lindsey Vonn moved from third to second place in this year's standings for the World Cup overall title

(AP Photo/Pier Marco Tacca)
Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, smiles in the finish area after winning an alpine ski, women's World Cup downhill, in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, Saturday, Jan 9, 2016.

American Lindsey Vonn equalled the 36-year-old record of career downhill World Cup wins by Annemarie Moser-Proell when she won her 36th World Cup downhill ski race on Saturday.

With the win, Vonn moved from third to second place in this year's standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest prize in the sport this season with no World Championships or Olympics.

"Another race, another record!" Vonn tweeted after beating her rivals in the Austrian resort of Zauchensee by a full second. "Couldn't be happier. I'm honored that the legendary A.M. Proell was there today."

Former champion Moser-Proell, who dominated women's ski racing in the 1970s and is now 62, was in the stands to watch Vonn win the sprint downhill, run over two legs on a shortened course because of insufficient snow on the upper slopes.

Vonn clocked a combined time of two minutes 11.17 seconds, beating Canadian Larisa Yurkiw into second place. Austrian Cornelia Huetter was third, 1.66 seconds behind the American.

"I didn't let the pressure get to me and to be tied with Annemarie is incredible so I'm very happy and looking forward to tomorrow's (super-G) race," the 31-year-old Vonn told reporters.

Austrian Moser-Proell won her 36th downhill in January 1980, the same year she became Olympic champion in the discipline. Six-times overall World Cup champion, she also won the downhill world title twice, in 1974 and 1978.

Vonn led by a comfortable .91 of a second after the first run, NBC Sports reported.

“I definitely didn’t expect such a big advantage going into the second run,” Vonn told media in Zauchensee. “I wasn’t trying to do anything special. With two runs, I figured if I was behind in the first run, I can maybe ski a little bit more aggressively in the second.

“I skied a little bit more conservatively second run [with the large time advantage]. It’s definitely more pressure in the second run when you’re leading.”

(editing by Ed Osmond)

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