Paerson clinches World Cup downhill win
Paerson, the downhill world champion, edged Vonn by 0.08 seconds for her 36th career World Cup win but her first podium place of the season.
Paerson had edged Vonn – racing as Lindsey Kildow – for gold at the world championships in Are, Sweden in February, but her last World Cup downhill victory dates back to March 2006, also in Are.
Her time of 1 minute 39.32 seconds on the Cerviglia course with a vertical drop of 705 metres was just enough to upset Vonn who was heading for a second downhill success this season following victory in Lake Louise, Canada on December 1.
Germany’s Maria Riesch held on for third, 0.33 seconds behind Paerson, for her second podium position this season following second place in the super-g in Aspen, Colorado last week.
Austria Renate Goetschl was fourth, a further 0.05 seconds back.
The win puts 26-year-old Paerson level in fourth place with Germany’s Katja Seizinger in the list of all-time World Cup victories, but still well behind leader Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria who has 62.
Vonn, 22, takes the lead in the downhill standings on 230 points after three races, ahead of previous leader Britt Janyk of Canada (192) and Goetschl (190), with Paerson moving to fourth on 149.
Paerson is up to third in the overall standings on 283 points, with the Austrians Marlies Schild (343) and Nicole Hosp (339) still leading the way. Riesch is fourth on 264 with Vonn now up to fifth on 256. dpa