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Sports in brief: Vonn wins to tie U.S. downhill record

Lindsey Vonn joined Picabo Street and Daron Rahlves as the most successful American downhill skiers. Among current competitors, she has no equal.

Vonn blew away the field Saturday at Sestriere, Italy, for her fourth win in seven downhills this season. It was the ninth downhill victory of her career, matching the mark of Street and Rahlves.

“Lindsey is pretty much unbeatable now,” U.S. coach Alex Hoedlmoser said. “The only thing that could have beaten her here was herself.”

Using a much straighter line than any other skier, Vonn covered the 1.84-mile Kandahar Banchetta course in 1 minute, 38.86 seconds. The race announcer yelled, “She’s a speed train!” as Vonn posted one split time faster than another.

“I took some chances going into the forest, there’s a couple turns in there and I definitely went a little straighter,” Vonn said. “But I was out of my tuck and just being clean and solid but definitely carrying speed down the fall line.”

Vonn returned to the top of the overall World Cup standings, three points ahead of Nicole Hosp, who finished 23rd.

With Bode Miller in front in the men’s overall standings, this is the first time Americans have led both the men’s and women’s ranks since Tamara McKinney and Phil Mahre won overall titles in 1983.

On a clear and sunny day at the site of the 2006 Turin Olympics, Vonn was followed by Canada’s Kelly Vanderbeek, who was 0.62 behind, and Italy’s Nadia Fanchini, 0.77 back.

At 23, Vonn has 12 victories overall in her career and is approaching McKinney’s U.S. record of 18 wins in all disciplines.

“While overall leader Bode Miller failed to finish, Reinfried Herbst put together the two fastest times to win a World Cup slalom at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Herbst had a combined time of 1:42. The Austrian defeated Manfred Moelgg of Italy by 0.65 seconds on a sun-drenched Gudiberg course, and Ivica Kostelic of Croatia was third.

Miller straddled a gate halfway down the slope and did not finish the first run. Miller was not alone, as 13 other skiers did not finish.

“The National Toboggan Championships at Camden, Maine, were temporarily suspended following an accident that sent six people to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.


Lawyer says Clemens can disprove assertion

A lawyer for Roger Clemens said the pitcher can prove he didn’t attend a June 1998 party at Jose Canseco’s home described by Brian McNamee in the Mitchell Report.

According to McNamee, Clemens first raised the subject of steroids not long after McNamee saw Canseco and Clemens meeting during the party.

Clemens’ side has turned over evidence to congressional investigators, including an affidavit from Canseco, to support that the pitcher wasn’t present at Canseco’s home that day, the attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

Hardin said video footage from telecasts of baseball games around the time of the party also were given to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. During the telecasts, Hardin said, TV announcers can be heard discussing Canseco’s party and noting that Clemens wasn’t there.

“Golden Doc A rallied in the stretch for a one-length victory in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., reopened after weeklong renovations to its troubled synthetic surface.

“Pyro staked his claim as one of the top 3-year-old colts in training at the New Orleans Fair Grounds with a victory in the Grade 3 $300,000 Risen Star Stakes, the final prep for the Louisiana Derby.

“Top-seeded Russian Anna Chakvetadze rallied to defeat Marion Bartoli 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 and will face Agnes Szavay in the final of the Open Gaz de France tennis tournament in Paris.