Vonn retakes world's spotlight for downhill

Thu Feb 5, 2015 10:08am EST
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By Steve Keating

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn retakes the world championship spotlight on Friday with the women's blue riband downhill set to deliver some high-speed thrills and excitement.

After winning bronze in the championship-opening Super-G on Tuesday, Vonn has quickly reset her sights on downhill gold and will push out of the start hut onto the challenging Raptor layout as the heavy favorite.

"I'm looking forward to Friday when it's supposed to be really good weather so hopefully we'll have a nice, fair race and I'll able to get another medal," said Vonn. "I can definitely ski better."

Injury prone Frenchwoman Marion Rolland will not be in Vail to defend the downhill crown she won two years ago after tearing knee ligaments in a World Cup Super-G last month in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

But there will be plenty of quality in a field that includes in-form Slovenian Tina Maze, who shared Olympic gold in Sochi with Switzerland's Dominique Gisin, 2011 world champion Austrian Elisabeth Goergl and Vonn, the 2009 winner.

Maze, who is looking to medal in all five disciplines in Beaver Creek, launched her championship in style with a silver in Tuesday's Super-G, pushing Vonn into third.

"To be hungry every day is not easy ... staying hungry is one of the things I want," said Maze, the current overall World Cup leader.

Swiss speedster Lara Gut, comes into the race riding the momentum from a victory in the last downhill prior to the worlds and will be bubbling with confidence having won the only women's downhill ever contested at Beaver Creek.   Continued...

Lindsey Vonn of the United States waves to the crowd during the medals ceremony for the women's Super G in the FIS alpine skiing world championships at Championships Plaza, Vail, CO, USA Feb 3, 2015;  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports