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Junior champ turns in top downhill run

Feb. 10, 2011 at 1:21 PM

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A Norwegian from the juniors ranks turned in the fastest run in Thursday's World Cup women's downhill training while two veterans focused on medical concerns.

Lotto Smiseth Sejersted, the reigning World Juniors downhill champ, blew down the course at Garmisch in 1 minute, 49.55 seconds, more than a half second ahead of American Julia Mancuso.

Maria Riesch of Germany, the overall World Cup points leader, skipped Thursday's practice run due to a fever. Second-place Lindsey Vonn of the United States was given medical clearance to ski Thursday and turned in a 2:01.90.

The U.S. Ski Association noted that Vonn, who suffered a concussion Feb. 2, skied in full warm-up gear and admittedly throttled back while under the watchful eye of team doctors. "The main aim today was to figure out if I can concentrate the whole way down and compete without having the headache come back," Vonn said. "I needed to make sure I can defend my downhill title feeling totally healthy."

Other notables Thursday were Lara Gut of Switzerland, who finished seventh, and Marie Marchand-Arvier of France who finished 14th after turning in the best time on Wednesday's first training run.

Austria's Elisabeth Goergl had the 13th-fastest time. She is in third place in the World Cup overall standings and won the World Championships super G on Monday.

"I did not have an optimal run and made mistakes in the first two turns and also in the flats," Goergl said. "But I know what to do better and I can step it up a notch on race day."

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