Friday, February 4, 2011
Lindsey Vonn out of slalom in Germany
ZWIESEL, Germany -- Marlies Schild of Austria won a World Cup slalom on Friday for her fifth victory of the season, while Lindsey Vonn missed the race because of a concussion.
Schild moved from third to first with a fast second run for a combined time of 1 minute, 55.19 seconds in foggy conditions and strong wind at the top of the Arber course.
Veronika Zuzulova of Slovakia was second in 1:55.87 for her best career finish. Tanja Poutiainen of Finland was third. Overall leader Maria Riesch of Germany fell in the first heat.
Vonn decided to skip the race, although she was cleared by doctors Friday.
"I got up this morning, prepared to race but after a few warm-up runs, I wasn't feeling confident on my skis," she said. "Normally I can fight through injuries, but head injuries are different. You can't just grit your teeth and go.
"I'll go through my normal routine tomorrow morning ... if things feel more normal, I'm hoping to start the giant slalom."
On her Facebook page, Vonn wrote that after three practice runs, "I just didn't feel right."
"I felt disconnected from my body like my mind couldn't process the gates quickly enough," she said.
Vonn said her husband, Thomas, talked her out of racing, "saying that I just didn't look like myself in the training course and that it is better to be safe then sorry."
Vonn told The Associated Press on the eve of the race that she suffered a concussion in a crash Wednesday while practicing a giant slalom in Austria.
Vonn will not lose any ground in the overall race against rival and friend Riesch. The German, who leads Vonn by 145 points, crashed in the first heat on the foggy course.
"It's always upsetting to fall," Riesch said. "I didn't get into a good rhythm at the top. But I am not going to let myself be bothered by this small setback. I know I will be back stronger."
Vonn's withdrawal means the American has failed to complete the past five slalom races. She fell in the first heat in each of the previous four.
American Julia Mancuso also skipped the slalom to concentrate on the giant slalom in practice before the world championships next week in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
"The training ... was awesome. Hopefully the extra training pays off in tomorrow's giant slalom and also next week at world champs," Mancuso said.
Schild has won five of seven slaloms this season and has 28 World Cup wins in her career.
"It was very difficult. The visibility was bad and the wind was strong at the top," Schild said.
Maria Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden led after the first heat but nearly skied off the course in the second run and dropped to eighth.