Goetschl Wins Super-G; Gains on Paerson

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Goetschl 02 21 04

ARE, Sweden, Feb. 21 2004 (AP by Stephan Nasstrom) -- Renate Goetschl of Austria won a World Cup super giant slalom on one of her favorite courses Saturday, gaining ground on Sweden's Anja Paerson in the overall standings.

Goetschl sped down Olympia course in 1 minute, 9.22 seconds. Carole Montillet of France finished second, 0.22 seconds behind. Brigitte Obermoser was third, 0.28 behind.

American Caroline Lalive tied for ninth with Germany's Petra Haltmayr, 0.54 seconds back.

It was Goetschl's fourth victory in Are, which will host the 2007 world championships.

"I have really good memories of Are and I always come here with a good feeling," Goetschl said. "Today I had a really good race, but it was close. I like the course. It has good jumps and turns. I found a good line down here."

Goetschl now trails Paerson by 23 points heading into the giant slalom Sunday. Paerson, competing for the first time on the Olympia super-G course, finished 20th.

Paerson looked good until the last big jump, where she lost time.

"I missed the jump," she said. "I had too much respect for the course. This was like a downhill. I was very nervous at the start."

The 22-year-old Paerson, who is trying to become the first Swedish woman to win the overall title since Pernilla Wiberg in 1997, praised Goetschl.

"It's so enjoyable to see her race," Paerson said. "She's skiing so well ... I'm just standing here trying to learn as much as I can."

In the super-G standings, Goetschl passed Germany's Hilde Gerg to take the lead with 431 points. Montillet is second with 402 points and Gerg is third at 345. The last super-G is early next month at the World Cup finals in Italy.

Copyright © 2004 The Associated Press