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Austria's Fenninger Takes First Gold at Alpine Skiing Championships

  • VOA News

Anna Fenninger of Austria competes in the women's super giant slalom in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at the Beaver Creek resort in Colorado, Feb. 3, 2015.

Anna Fenninger of Austria competes in the women's super giant slalom in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at the Beaver Creek resort in Colorado, Feb. 3, 2015.

Austria's Anna Fenninger on Tuesday took the first gold medal in this year's Alpine World Ski Championships in the western U.S. state of Colorado, taking first place in the women's super giant slalom by .03 second.

Fenninger's time was 1 minute, 10.29 seconds. Tina Maze of Slovenia was runner-up at 1:10.32, and American Lindsey Vonn, the pre-race favorite who recently became the all-time women's career leader in World Cup victories, took the bronze medal in 1:10.44. American Julie Mancuso was ninth in 1:11.94.

The super-G start was delayed 30 minutes because of high winds, and Vonn said she knew when she felt the strong headwind in the starting gate that it would be very difficult to win.

Vonn complimented Fenninger afterward, saying she "skied exceptionally well" and "deserved to win the gold medal." Vonn added that she was happy to get third place and skied the best she could, given the conditions.

Skiers from 68 nations are represented in the International Ski Federation event. Besides those from the traditional powers in the sport, others from such countries as China, Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica, Iran, India, Israel and South Africa are competing.

Races are taking place over nearly two weeks at the resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek, a 20-minute drive from each other, and 160 kilometers west of Denver. Vail hosted the world championships the last two times they were held in the United States, in 1989 and 1999.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach was among those who attended Monday night's opening ceremonies and Tuesday's first race, held at Beaver Creek.

The men's super-G is set for Wednesday. Vonn is scheduled to compete again Friday in her specialty, the downhill.

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