December 8, 2007 / 7:25 PM / in 10 years

Janyk claims maiden win in Aspen downhill

ASPEN, Colorado (Reuters) - Canada’s Britt Janyk claimed her first World Cup victory with a downhill win in poor conditions on Saturday.

<p>Britt Janyk of Canada skis to win the women's World Cup downhill in Aspen, Colorado December 8, 2007. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>

Four Austrian skiers chose not to race after their team mate Alexandra Meissnitzer suffered a heavy crash, injuring her left knee.

In soft snow and bad visibility, Janyk powered down Ruthie’s Run in one minute 14.17 seconds, according to provisional results.

Austria’s overall World Cup leader Marlies Schild was second 0.42 seconds behind while her compatriot Renate Goetschl was third.

The downhill, the first for women at Aspen since 1988, was rescheduled from Friday after heavy snow in the Colorado resort and race staff worked overnight to get the piste ready for competition.

American Lindsey Vonn, who skied as Lindsey Kildow prior to her marriage in September, went into the race as clear favorite but had to settle for fourth place.

Vonn took to the slope after the race had been delayed for over 20 minutes following former world champion Meissnitzer’s heavy crash.

Meissnitzer injured her left knee after tumbling on a flat section of the course when she appeared to hit a rut.

All of the podium finishers had completed their runs before the fall and with some light snowfall the course appeared to become slower.

Austrians Nicole Hosp, Christine Sponring, Maria Holaus and Nicole Schmidhofer all opted against competing.

France’s Anne-Sophie Barthet also suffered a heavy fall later in the race and was left screaming after crashing into the side of the course.

The race did not restart after Barthet’s fall with the final 19 skiers not running.

Janyk has started the season in impressive form -- she claimed her first podium finish at Lake Louise earlier this month.

Editing by Alison Wildey

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