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Compagnioni scores first slalom victory

December 29, 1996

SEMMERING, Austria (AP) _ Italy’s Deborah Compagnioni scored her first slalom victory in Sunday’s women’s World Cup race, in which a number of top skiers missed gates on the icy slope.

With a first-run best time of 52.13 seconds, Compagnioni had a combined time of 1:42.94, 1.05 seconds ahead of Patricia Chauvet of France.

Claudia Riegler of New Zealand was third with a combined time of 1:44.65. Saturday’s winner, Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden, skied the fastest second run with a time of 50.35 for fourth place.

In the first heat, she nearly missed a gate and almost stopped. She made a miraculous recovery to finish 13th with a time of 54.31 heading into the second heat.

Urska Hrovat of Slovenia was fifth with a combined time of 1:45.13.

Several top skiers either missed gates or fell on the icy slope, including Austria’s Anita Wachter, and Elfi Eder, who had scored the second fastest time in the first heat, and Germany’s Hilde Gerg.

For Compagnioni, it was the first slalom victory and the eighth of her injury-plagued career. She was Olympic Super G champion in 1992 and Olympic Giant Slalom champion in 1994.

Wiberg, who won Saturday’s race, widened her lead in the standings over Katja Seizinger of Germany who did not compete in either of this weekend’s slalom events.

Riegler won the first two slaloms of the season and looked set to win Sunday’s race before Compagnioni bettered her time.

Switzerland’s Marlies Oester and Gabriela Graf-Zingre took sixth and seventh place, followed by Ingrid Salvenmoser of Austria and Switzerland’s Martina Accola. Kristina Andersson of Sweden finished 10th.

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