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Haltmayer Wins World Cup Downhill

December 1, 2000

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) _ It was hard to say who was more surprised, Germany’s Petra Haltmayer or Italy’s Isolde Kostner.

Haltmayer won her first World Cup downhill Thursday in 1 minute, 34.71 seconds, beating Kostner by a tenth of a second.

``It’s a little crazy,″ said Haltmayer, competing in her fifth year on the World Cup circuit but only her second in downhill.

``It’s most surprising to me that I had a downhill win and not a super-G or giant slalom. I had a good feeling during the race. I thought I would be fast, but to even think about being first, I can’t describe it.″

Kostner, the favorite after finishing first in all three training runs, already was receiving congratulations in the finish area when the little-known German, who started 28th, came charging down the course. When Haltmayer’s time flashed on the board, Kostner kicked the snow in frustration and hung her head.

``I thought a lot of the girls could beat me but not Petra,″ Kostner said. ``I’m surprised she won.″

Haltmayer’s previous best result was a second in a downhill in Switzerland last year.

Kostner won last year’s event here, recorded two seconds in downhills in 1998 and was third in a 1997 race.

Austria’s Renate Goetschl, who won both 1998 races here, was third in 1:34.98.

Megan Gerety, the Alaskan star sidelined two of the last three seasons by leg injuries, finished sixth in 1:35.77.

``I would’ve liked to get on the podium, but one step at a time,″ she said. ``This is my first downhill in something like a year and half.″

Jonna Mendes of Heavenly, Calif., finished a career-best 10th, and Kirsten Clark of Raymond, Maine, was 14th.

``It’s been a long time since we’ve had three Americans in the top 15,″ U.S. downhill coach Jim Tracy said.

``The most important thing is now it’s mental. We know we have the material. It’s getting everyone believing, full-on, 100 percent, any day they can be in there.″

After two days of sunshine and clear skies, a light snow fell during the race and a cold wind dropped temperatures.

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