(Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn won a record 20th World Cup trophy with second place in Saturday’s downhill in the northern Italian resort of La Thuile, after having to withdraw a video on social media for fear of upsetting her ski sponsor.
Second place was enough to leave the American 173 points ahead of nearest rival Larisa Yurkiw of Canada in the downhill cup standings with one race -- offering a maximum 100 points -- remaining on the calendar.
Vonn, who had previously shared the record of 19 titles with Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark who raced in the 1970s and 1980s, cut a much more cheerful figure after Friday’s controversy which followed her early exit from the first downhill at La Thuile.
After her right ski came off on a sharp turn and she slid out of the race, Vonn posted a video on Facebook showing her attacking the broken ski with a hammer.
She deleted the video on Saturday and posted a statement apologizing to her ski suppliers HEAD, saying her action had been “a huge mistake” caused by frustration.
“The video was posted on social media to express my emotions but I understand how it could be misinterpreted,” Vonn said. “In fact, thank goodness the binding released as it should, preventing a possible injury.”
Saturday’s podium place, sandwiched between Italians Nadia Fanchini and third-placed Daniela Merighetti, enabled Vonn to take back the overall World Cup lead from Swiss Lara Gut, winner of Friday’s downhill.
“With all the records this year that I‘m breaking it’s still really hard to process what I‘m doing,” said Vonn, who has won 76 World Cup races and is chasing Stenmark’s record of 86.
“I won’t fully grasp the magnitude of everything until I‘m done with my career.”
Sunday’s super-G in the same resort will give Vonn, four times World Cup champion in the discipline, another shot at moving closer to Stenmark’s all-time mark.
Writing by Clare Fallon; editing by Ed Osmond