WINTER SPORTS ROUNDUP : Austrian Wins, Says He's Best

From Associated Press

Helmut Hoeflehner of Austria declared himself the world's top downhill skier Sunday after winning his third World Cup race in nine days.

"I feel like I am the No. 1 downhiller in the world, and I feel great," the 30-year-old said after completing the 3,100-meter course at Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, in 1:44.57, edging Atle Skaardal of Norway and Franz Heinzer of Switzerland by .20 of a second.

Sunday's victory--the 10th of his career after two victories in Val D'Isere last week--strengthened Hoeflehner's lead in the World Cup downhill standings and increased his chances to win this year's title.

Katrin Gutensohn-Knopf, making a strong comeback for West Germany after leaving the Austrian ski team, won her second World Cup downhill within 24 hours at Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

Gutensohn-Knopf clocked 1:17.96 to earn her sixth career victory on an extremely fast and twisting course spiked with jumps. Carole Merle of France finished second as she did on Saturday.

The two victories ended Gutensohn-Knopf's three-year winless streak, marked by recurrent knee problems and surgery.

Dan Jansen of West Allis, Wis., won the 1,000 meters and finished second in the 500 meters in World Cup speed-skating races at Collalbo, Italy.

Jansen was timed in 1:15.02 in the 1,000, .36 of a second in front of Pawel Abratkiewicz of Poland. Jens Uwe Mey of West Germany won the 500 in 37.18.

Seiko Hashimoto of Japan overtook Bonnie Blair of Champaign, Ill., in the last 100 meters to win the 1,000-meter event at the World Cup speed skating race in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Hashimoto finished the race in 1:24.38 seconds, one-tenth of a second better than Blair's time of 1:24.48. Blair, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist in the 500, won the 500 and 1,500 events Saturday.

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