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Italian Wins Women’s Super G

February 17, 2002

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SNOWBASIN, Utah (AP) _ Italy’s Daniela Ceccarelli was the surprise winner of the Olympic women’s super giant slalom on Sunday, with American Caroline Lalive falling again and extending her streak of big-event flops.

Ceccarelli, a military policewoman who rarely finishes in the top five of World Cup races, seemed stunned when she looked at the giant scoreboard and saw she had moved into first place.

Janica Kostelic of Croatia, who won the combined event on Thursday, finished 0.05 behind Ceccarelli for her second medal in four days. Italy’s Karen Putzer won the bronze.

Lalive, America’s best all-around female skier, fell just 10 seconds into her run _ the eighth straight Olympic or world championship race she has failed to finish.

Lalive, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., also crashed out of Tuesday’s downhill and dropped out of Thursday’s combined event after flopping on the first slalom run. She will not compete again in these Olympics.

No American finished in the top 10 of Sunday’s race, which was missing two Super G champions.

Picabo Street, the 1998 Olympic gold medalist, failed to make the U.S. Super G team and announced her retirement after Tuesday’s downhill. Reigning world champion Regine Cavagnoud of France was killed in an October training accident.

Ceccarelli, whose parents are so ski-mad they got married on a glacier, finished the winding Wildflower course in 1 minute, 13.59 seconds. The slope’s sharp twists and turns kept the racers on the edge of their skis for much of the race.

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