Ertl makes early running

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The Independent Online

Martina Ertl, of Germany, won the opening giant slalom of the women's Alpine skiing season at Val d'Isere yesterday, but fell nine points short of taking the overall World Cup lead.

The 22-year-old German all-rounder, who won the season's first super- G last week in Vail, Colorado, resisted the challenge of Mojca Suhadolc, of Slovenia, and Alexandra Meissnitzer, of Austria, who came second and third respectively.

Ertl earned her second victory of the season, and the fifth of her career, with a combined time of 1min 54.44sec on the icy French piste, raising her World Cup tally to 251 points. However, her compatriot Katja Seizinger produced a strong second leg to finish sixth and retain the overall World Cup lead on 260.