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Vonn sets record for most World Cup points

By ERIC WILLEMSEN

Published: Saturday, March 17 2012 6:05 p.m. MDT

Lindsey Vonn poses with her trophy after winning the women's super combined at the Alpine Ski World Cup finals.

Fabrice Coffrini,Afp/Getty Images

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SCHLADMING, Austria — Lindsey Vonn set a women's record for the most World Cup points in a season Saturday after finishing eighth in a slalom won by Austria's Michaela Kirchgasser.

Vonn reached 1,980 points to beat the mark of 1,970 set by Janica Kostelic of Croatia in 2006.

"I am very happy with that," said Vonn, the overall champion who needs 21 points in Sunday's giant slalom to also overtake Austrian great Hermann Maier's 12-year-old record of 2,000 points.

Vonn will need to finish 12th or better to overtake Maier and match his record by placing 13th.

"I hope I can do it tomorrow. I will fully attack," she said. "I am going to take risks, but I will also ski smart."

The American said it was her goal to get a few points from the slalom — her weakest discipline — to make Sunday's task a little easier.

"Slalom has been a struggle for me in the last couple of years," she said. "I've got a couple of top 10s this season but have not been finishing very often so it was good step for me."

After a clear, cold night, the sunshine softened the snow and made for difficult conditions.

"It was definitely really warm for the second run," Vonn said. "It was tough. I personally don't do well with really soft conditions. I struggled a little bit and maybe didn't ski as aggressively as I could have done. But I had two solid runs without major mistakes."

Vonn is also an outside contender for the GS title. She has to win the race while leader Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany fails to score points.

In that case, Vonn would win her record fifth crystal globe of the season after the overall championship, downhill, super-G and super combined titles.

"I've got a minor chance," said Vonn, who won her first GS race this season. "I will give everything and hope to make the podium."

Kirchgasser finished in 1 minute, 32.57 seconds for her third career victory. She was followed by Veronika Zuzulova of Slovakia and Marlies Schild of Austria.

Schild had already clinched the slalom title. She won six slalom races this season and 33 overall, leaving her one short of Swiss great Vreni Schneider's record.

"I hoped to get that 34th victory today," the world slalom champion said. "But finishing third was OK and there is always something you can do better next season."

Zuzulova led after the first run and finished 0.12 behind. Zuzulova has had 13 top-three finishes in the World Cup but has yet to win, more than any other female skier.

Ligety 2nd in giant slalom

SCHLADMING, Austria — Park City's Ted Ligety needed a victory in the final Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour giant slalom to have a shot at a fourth title, but nearly skied out in the first run to eliminate his chances. Ligety was bounced off course and hiked back in to finish the run. He won the second run, but Austrian Marcel Hirscher claimed the win to close the door on the giant slalom title and move ahead of Swiss Beat Feuz in the overall chase by 25 points with only Sunday's slalom remaining.

"There was only one option today — winning or going home," Ligety said. "I just wanted to get another win under my belt. I was going hard but that is what can happen when you're charging. A bummer for sure and somewhat frustrating ... I tried everything so I can't blame myself."

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