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SKIING

Surprise World Cup win for Swedish alpine skier

Sweden's Jessica Lindell-Vikarby raced to a surprise alpine skiing victory on Monday, taking first place in the women’s World Cup Super-G in Cortina, Italy and marking the first World Cup victory of her career.

Surprise World Cup win for Swedish alpine skier

The 24-year-old Swede, who hails from the Stockholm suburb of Huddinge, finished with a time of 1 minute, 25.13 seconds, putting her 0.81 seconds ahead of Austria’s Anna Fenninger and 0.87 seconds faster than Andrea Dettling of Switzerland.

Prior to Monday, the 24-year-old Lindell-Vikarby had only once managed to climb on to a World Cup podium since joining the tour in 2003, having finished third in a Super-G in Lake Louise in December 2007 and her best to date this season had been a fifth place on the same piste again in a Super-G.

“What happened today is a dream,” said Lindell-Vikarby. “I was a bit nervous because I had to wait for the best skiers to go down.

“But I was the best today. Cortina is one of my favourites slopes. Mentally and physically I felt great and I was ready for a podium. I think I had a good run from top to bottom without any major mistakes.”

Meanwhile, a run by teammate Anja Pärson looked promising at the start until the former World Cup and Olympic champion crashed out following an attempted right turn, ramming into the safety net at high speed.

Pärson, who injured her knee at the weekend, was up shortly after the spill, however and made her way down the slope under her own power.

SKIING

Austria avalanche kills three

An avalanche in the Salzburg region killed three people and injured two while they were skiing off-piste, Austria's Red Cross said Saturday.

Snow and avalanche protection fences seen on a clear day on mountains surrounding Lech am Arlberg, western Austria
Some mountains in Austria have snow and avalanche protection fences, like these seen on a clear day on mountains surrounding Lech am Arlberg, western Austria. ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP

The accident happened Saturday about 2,400 metres (7,800 feet) up in the Lungau district, soon after 1:45 pm local time, Red Cross spokesman Anton Schilcher told the APA agency.

The snow buried eight of the group up to 4.5 metres deep, local emergency response official Christoph Wiedl told local media.

Two of the victims were already dead when their bodies were recovered, while the third died after being airlifted to hospital in Klagenfurt.

The two injured skiers were taken to hospital in the town of Tamsweg.

The skiers caught in the avalanche were from a group from the regions of Salzburg and Upper Austria.

In recent years, an average of around 20 people a year have been killed annually by avalanches in Austria.

The last two seasons were less deadly as the coronavirus pandemic reduced the number of skiers overall.

Avalanches killed four people in western Austria’s Tyrol region last February.

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