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Vonn earns 50th World Cup victory

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 4 2012 7:56 p.m. MST

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — A career milestone in front of her dad and sister left Lindsey Vonn in tears, and it made for a perfect day.

Vonn captured her 50th World Cup victory Saturday, winning the downhill on the demanding Kandahar course with temperatures plunging to minus 13.

"It's crazy. I am at a loss for words. I already cried with one of the TV crews and that is enough crying for the day," Vonn said. "Fifty World Cup wins is a huge mark for me in my career and more than I even thought possible. I just wanted the 50th win."

Few skiers reach the 50-win landmark. Among the women, only Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria (62) and Vreni Schneider of Switzerland (55) are ahead of Vonn. Only three men have 50 or more: Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden (86), Hermann Maier of Austria (54) and Alberto Tomba of Italy (50).

At 27, Vonn is older than Moser-Proell was when she broke the mark, but younger than Schneider.

"My goal is always only to win the next race," Vonn said later, answering questions in her nearly flawless German.

At the rate Vonn is going, Schneider's mark is unlikely to last long. Vonn already has nine wins this season. Vonn's first win was in March 2006 in Norway.

Vonn won in 1 minute, 44.86 seconds. Nadja Kamer of Switzerland was 0.41 seconds behind and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein finished third, 0.79 back.

Vonn was 0.62 seconds behind at the second split and nearly crashed midway down the icy and bumpy course before regaining her balance to win by nearly half a second.

MEN'S DOWNHILL: At Chamonix, France, Canada's Jan Hudec has won a World Cup downhill in Chamonix, making the most of an icy slope and freezing conditions for a surprising victory.

In a great day for Canadian skiing, teammate Erik Guay finished third Saturday, 0.63 seconds behind Hudec.

Hudec, whose career has been blighted by knee injuries and operations, was timed in 2 minutes, 3.25 seconds. He was followed by Austria's Romed Baumann in 2:03.78.

Hudec was trailing Baumann until he reached the midsection and then started shaving huge chunks off the Austrian's time. While Klaus Kroell won Friday's downhill by just 0.01 seconds, Hudec smashed Baumann's time by 0.53 to deprive the Austrians of a second straight win.

WOMEN'S SKI JUMP: At Hinzenbach, Austria, Daniela Iraschko of Austria won a World Cup ski jump for the first time after Saturday's final round was canceled because of strong wind.

With just three of the top-30 competitors left waiting for a second jump, organizers decided conditions were too dangerous. That meant the first-round results counted as final results.

World champion Iraschko jumped 96 meters and earned 123.3 points to edge Sarah Hendrickson of the U.S., who jumped 91.5 meters, by 0.7 points. Katja Pozun of Slovenia was third, 8.9 points behind Iraschko. Another American, Lindsey Van, was seventh.

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