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American Vonn extends Super-G streak, World Cup lead

Lindsey Vonn of Vail, Colo., won her fourth consecutive super-giant-slalom race Sunday and promised to chase more trophies on the women’s World Cup circuit after a successful stop in Bansko, Bulgaria.

“There is no conservative skiing for me,” the 24-year-old Vonn said. “I have to be really aggressive — that’s my strategy.”

After three races in Bulgaria, the defending overall World Cup champion widened her lead in the standings to 391 points over second-place Maria Riesch of Germany. Vonn also moved into contention for the Super-G season trophy a day after clinching the downhill title, joining Picabo Street as the only Americans to win back-to-back downhill titles.

Vonn won the Super-G in 1 minute, 14.49 seconds, sweeping aside concerns caused by an injured thumb and a bruising fall in training three days earlier. Fabienne Suter of Switzerland was second, 0.58 seconds behind.

“I think all my disciplines are better this year,” Vonn said. “Super-G has been the best season in my life, above and beyond what I expected this year.”

Vonn has been competing with her right thumb in a splint since she required surgery after slicing a tendon on a champagne bottle while celebrating after winning a gold medal at the world championships in Val d’Isere, France, last month.

“It’s definitely very painful when I’m starting and also in slalom,” she said. “I think it also affects my balance. I was able to win today. I’m happy that it’s not holding me back too much.”

Lizeroux triumphs: Julien Lizeroux of France won a men’s World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for his second victory of the season.

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finished 11th and retained a narrow lead in the overall standings. Kostelic has 837 points, two more than Benjamin Raich of Austria.

Americans excel at nordic worlds: The United States entered the nordic world championships in Liberec, Czech Republic, in the usual fashion, with modest goals. One medal might have been perceived as a success.

But the Americans collected six medals, including four golds. In the 35 previous world championships since 1925, the U.S. won a total of three medals — a gold, a silver and a bronze. The U.S. gold medalists this year were two-time winner Todd Lodwick, Lindsey Van and Bill Demong.

“It’s absolutely incredible to have six world-championships medals. I’m speechless,” said Lodwick, who is from Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Bobsled

Holcomb is golden: Steven Holcomb took “The Night Train” to the top of the podium at the world championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., lifting the weight of a 50-year drought from the U.S. men’s team.

Holcomb was the class of the field on all four runs of the four-man competition at Mount Van Hoevenberg and piloted the black USA-1 sled to the gold medal. It was the first triumph for the United States in four-man at the world championships since Arthur Tyler won in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 1959.

“I can’t believe, finally, after 50 years we got it done,” Holcomb said. “We were definitely the team to beat today. It all came together.”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/othersports/2008800721_digs02.html

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