GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany, Feb 3 (Reuters) - American Lindsey Vonn provided another timely reminder that she will still be a force to be reckoned with at this month’s Pyeongchang Olympics by winning a shortened downhill at Garmisch on Saturday, the 80th World Cup win of her career.
The four-times overall World Cup winner pipped Italian Sofia Goggia by two hundredths of a second to win her third World Cup race of the season. Austrian Cornelia Huetter was third, 0.13 seconds behind Vonn.
It was a second successive downhill win for the 33-year-old American - gold medallist in the event at the Vancouver Games in 2010 - after Cortina two weeks ago.
Vonn’s compatriot Jacqueline Wiles was airlifted to hospital by helicopter after a nasty crash and there was no immediate news on her condition. Laurenne Ross, another American, slipped and crashed into a flag but got up and walked away,
The race was originally scheduled to be run over two legs on a short course, a format known as a sprint downhill, but this had to be changed after bad weather forced training sessions to be cancelled on Thursday and Friday.
As downhill races cannot be held without training, organisers decided to stage a practice run earlier on Saturday followed by a single-leg race.
Vonn was outside Goggia’s time at the third intermediate point but clawed back vital seconds as she finished in one minute 12.84 seconds.
A traditional downhill will be staged on Sunday - the last women’s race before the Olympics, which start on Friday.
American Mikaela Shiffrin, who did not race on Saturday, is runaway leader of the overall World Cup. Goggia still leads the downhill standings with 349 points but is only 43 ahead of Vonn. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Ken Ferris)