Picabo Street, of the United States, claimed her third World Cup downhill victory of the season yesterday after Canada's Catherine Lussier narrowly avoided colliding with a ski patrol.
Confirmation of the result at re, Sweden, was delayed for 15 minutes until Lussier had re-run after coming within inches of crashing into two members of a ski patrol. Lussier eventually finished 45th. Germany's Katja Seizinger, the overall World Cup leader, was second and Isolde Kostner, of Italy, third.
The local favourite, Pernilla Wiberg, was carried from the course after falling half-way through her run and will probably not take part in today's giant slalom. It was at the same resort last week that Wiberg's compatriot, Tomas Fogdoe, became paralysed after skiing into a tree.
Street, who organised a book signed by all World Cup skiers for Fogdoe before yesterday's race, dedicated her victory to the Swede. "Anyone who has a heart in their body must feel very much for him. I skied for Tomas today," she said.
Street has now won three of this season's World Cup races and also has a second place. "I'm skiing with all the right feelings," she said. "Here in re it felt as though my body was on fire. I really wanted to win and knew before the race it could be my day."
Alberto Tomba, yet to win a World Cup race in Japan, expressed quiet confidence yesterday ahead of this weekend's giant slalom and slalom in Furano and said he would dedicate any victory to the victims of the Kobe earthquake.
The 28-year-old Italian has won 10 races this season and is on course for his first World Cup overall title after finishing runner-up in 1988, 1991 and 1992.
"I was deeply shocked to learn of the aftermath of the earthquake. If I win I would like to dedicate my victory to the victims. Some of them may have been my fans," Tomba told a news conference. More than 5,300 people were killed by the earthquake which devastated the major port city of Kobe.
"I am enjoying skiing as much as I ever have," Tomba added. "Both because I am winning and because the end of my career is getting near."Reuse content