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Eberharter Wins World Cup Downhill

December 8, 2001

VAL D’ISERE, France (AP) _ Austria’s Stephan Eberharter won for the second time in two days, capturing a World Cup downhill Saturday in a race in which Switzerland’s Silvano Beltrametti was hospitalized after a crash.

Eberharter, who won Friday’s super-G, was timed on the Oreiller Killy course in 1 minute, 59.89 seconds in the season’s opening downhill. It was the eighth World Cup victory of his career and third in the downhill.

Beltrametti tore through the safety netting at high speed and was airlifted to a hospital. The extent of his injuries was not clear, but organizers said he was conscious when evacuated.

The race was interrupted for an hour as officials attempted to fix the gaping hole in the netting.

``In circumstances like today, you have to stay concentrated on the race and not think about everything else going on around you,″ Eberharter said. ``It is dangerous but this is our job.″

Italy’s Kurt Sulzenbacher, the second racer out of the start hut, was unaffected by the wait and finished second in 2:00.06 for his first top-three World Cup finish.

Austria’s Michael Walchhofer was third in 2:00.45. Austrian and Swiss skiers claimed nine of the top 10 finishes.

Eberharter previously was runner-up three times at this French resort.

With his two outstanding performances, Eberharter seems intent on becoming Alpine skiing’s top man in the absence of Austrian great Hermann Meir. Eberharter last year was second to Maier in the overall and downhill.

Maier is recovering from a motorcycle accident in August in which he nearly lost a leg. He hopes doctors will let him begin skiing at the end of the month.

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