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Ghedina Wins Downhill

January 11, 1997

CHAMONIX, France (AP) _ Kristian Ghedina of Italy edged Atle Skaardal of Norway by .01 second to take a men’s World Cup downhill today.

Ghedina was timed in 2 minutes, 1.56 seconds. Third, at 2:01.67 was Werner Franz of the strong Austrian squad.

It was the eighth time in World Cup history that a men’s downhill was won by the slimmest margin. The last time in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, last January.

With his sixth career victory, Ghedina became the best Italian downhiller in history, breaking a tie with Herman Plank.

After two days of fog hampering training, it was a bright, sunny day with good conditions on the 2.07-mile Arlberg Kandahar course.

French stars Alphand and Adrien Duvillard, who took the two training runs, had their troubles.

Alphand, winner of two of the previous four downhills this season, finished with a time of 2:02.03, coming in fifth.

Alphand lost time over the second of three jumps. He lost his balance and nearly fell, making a miraculous recovery after almost sitting backwards on his skis.

Duvillard almost missed a gate early, lost a ski and went off the course.

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