Skiing: Nowen's recent success knows no bounds

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Ylva Nowen won her third consecutive World Cup slalom event in Lienz, Austria, yesterday. After seven seasons without a victory, the Swedish skier is beginning to feel wary about her recent ascendancy.

"I am a little bit scared about what is happening," said Nowen, who joined the circuit in 1990 but had not stood on a World Cup podium before this winter. "It is all coming a bit too fast. I don't know how I did it.

"Yesterday I said it was due to all the mental training I have been doing and so on. But today, I simply don't know anymore."

The 27-year-old psychology student posted a total time of 1min 37.33sec for her second success in Lienz in 24 hours. She has won three of the four slaloms staged so far this season and finished second in the other.

After the race on the artificially-prepared Hochstein piste, Nowen said she had to keep her feet on the ground. "I can continue winning if I manage to remain concentrated, calm and focused," she said.

Nowen, who extended her lead in the slalom standings to 380 points, is putting the Nagano Olympics in February to the back of her mind. "Whether or not I can make a medal [in Japan] will depend on whether I am in the right frame of mind."

Second place on a cold, sunny day went to the first run leader, Kristina Koznick of the United States, with a time of 1:37.43. Italy's reigning slalom world champion, Deborah Compagnoni, was third in 1:37.52.