Skiing: Maier sweeps to record win

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Hermann Maier won a record fourth consecutive super-giant slalom in Garmisch-Parten-kirchen yesterday while Austria made sure of the men's overall World Cup title for the first time since 1970.

Exactly who will claim the overall title has yet to be decided, but the former bricklayer's win ensured thatNorway's Kjetil-Andre Aamodt, the highest-placed non-Austrian in the overall standings, cannot overtake Maier.

Only one Austrian man, Karl Schranz in 1969 and 1970, has previously won the overall World Cup title, and realistically, Maier has all but won the crown this time. He now heads for Nagano with 10 World Cup wins this season. His compatriot, Hans Knauss, was in second place, while Norway's Lasse Kjus came third to prevent an Austrian clean sweep in 1:20.88.

The 1992 Olympic and 1996 world downhill champion, Patrick Ortlieb, failed to make the 14-man Austrian Olympic squad after finishing 33rd. Even before the race, Ortlieb acknowledged he had failed to make the grade.