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St. Anton, Austria
January 15-17, 1999
Switzerland’s Corinne Rey-Bellet achieved a historical two wins in the same day as she clinched the fifth super-G of the season only four hours after celebrating her very first World Cup success in the Alberg-Kandahar downhill.
The 26-year-old athlete from Val d’Illiez in southern Switzerland beat the main favorite, Austria’s Alexandra Meissnitzer, by 17/100 of a second, and Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister, who came 2nd in the downhill, by 41/100.
Until now, Rey-Bellet's best performance in super-G was 4th place in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy last year.
"It’s fantastic, but what a good feeling to move at that level after all these disappointing seasons," said Rey-Bellet. "I had no problem to be again perfectly concentrated. I acted as if the first race did not happen. I did my usual routine and it worked perfectly."
While Dorfmeister also enjoyed her second consecutive podium after a disappointing season start, Alexandra Meissnitzer was less than pleased by her race.
France’s Regine Cavagnoud was 4th, missing the podium by only 4/100 of a second, and Germany's Martina Ertl was 6th. America’s Megan Gerety reached 15th place just behind Sweden’s Pernilla Wiberg.
Many favorites had problems mastering the difficulties on the fast courseGermany’s Hilde Gerg, 3rd in the downhill standings, only came 12th, while Italy’s Isolde Kostner skied out as did Austrians Renate Goetschl and Christiane Mitterwallner.
However, this is good news for Meissnitzer, who could increase her lead in the overall World Cup standings. She has over 400 points over her closest rival, Hilde Gerg, who hopes to gain more points on Sunday after the slalom and the combined.
On Sunday, the last slalom prior the World Championships will take place on the steep slope located next to the downhill course. Beside Wiberg, Gerg and Ertl, half a dozen other skiers will aim for the victory including Kristina Koznick, Sabine Egger, Spela Pretnar, Urska Hrovat, Anja Paerson and Janica Kostelic.
Next week the women head to Cortina d’Ampezzo where four races will take place: a downhill, two super-Gs and a giant slalom.
Mountain Zone European Correspondent
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