Haltmayer Wins World Cup Downhill
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.