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Neureuther nabs surprise victory in World Cup giant slalom

Felix Neureuther has secured a surprise victory in the World Cup giant slalom in Switzerland. Austrian Elisabeth Görgl recorded a historic victory in the alpine ski downhill, while Germans came out on top in the luge.

Neureuther finished with a combined time of 2 minutes 24.60 seconds in Adelboden, Switzerland on Saturday, just 0.10 ahead of France's Thomasa Fanara. Marcel Hirscher of Austria finished third.

Ted Ligety of the US looked set to take the lead until he skied out after going over a bump while approaching a gate midway down. Neureuther took advantage of his opportunity and overcame his seventh place finish in the morning to capture first overall.

"It's really an historic moment," said Neureuther. "I never thought I would be able to win a giant slalom."

It has been a big week for Neureuther, who is just the second German to win a World Cup slalom after Max Rieger's victory 41 years ago in Mont-Saint-Anne, Canada. He now has seven career World Cup wins in the slalom after his victory in Bormio, Italy.

Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal finished 12th but retained his lead in the overall standings with 652 points. Hirscher trails him with 575 points, while Ligety sits a distant third on 333 points.

Görgl triumphs in downhill

The Austrian Elisabeth Görgl beat out compatriot Anna Fenninger and Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch to finish first in the World Cup alpine ski downhill. The 2011 double world champion clocked in at 1 minute, 47.75 seconds on the course in Altenmarkt, Austria, an impressive 0.56 seconds ahead of Fenninger and 0.63 seconds ahead of Höfl-Riesch.

"I know I had a super run. That gives me satisfaction," said Görgl, whose January 2012 downhill victory in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, was, until Saturday, the last time an Austrian woman had won the event.

Maria Hoefl-Riesch

It was a historic day for Höfl-Riesch

Höfl-Riesch, who won the last two downhills this season, lost her top spot in the standings by six points to Fenninger, who leads 677-671. Her third place finish, however, was enough to give the German her 25th career podium. She is now the only skier, male or female, with at least 25 top-three finishes in both downhill and slalom.

Germans on top in luge

Tatjana Hüfner finished in 1 minute 23.925 seconds in the luge in Oberhof, Germany, to capture a World Cup victory and move into second in the overall points standing. She was 0.016 seconds ahead of fellow German Natalie Geisenberger, who failed to finish win for the first time this season. Germans Dajana Eitberger and Anke Wischnewski finished third and fourth, respectively.

Toni Eggert und Sascha Benecken

Eggert and Benecken were all smiles in Oberhof

In the doubles race, the German duo of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken were victorious. Their time of 1 minute, 23.212 seconds was 0.379 seconds better than compatriots Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt.

Svendsen takes individual biathlon

Emile Helge Svendsen of Norway won the men's individual race over 20 kilometers in Ruhpolding, Germany, giving him 34 career World Cup victories. He finished in 48 minutes 58.5 seconds, ahead of Russians Alexey Volkov and Evgeny Ustyugov.

Germany's Simon Schempp finished ninth. His 220 points in the overall standings put him in 11th place, far behind France's Martin Fourcade's 462 points. Svendsen sits second overall with 353 points.

Oldest World Cup ski jump winner

Japan's Noriaki Kasai, 41, became the oldest winner in World Cup ski jumping history after his victory on the ski-flying hill at Bad Mittendorf, Austria. Kasai's jumps of 196 and 197 meters bested Slovenia's Peter Prevc and the Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer. Saturday's win was his first since a victory in Park City, Utah, on February 28, 2004.

In other Nordic ski events, Norway's Mikko Kokslien won the three-way sprint, ahead of countrymen Magnus Krog and Joergen Graabak. He completed the 10-kilometer cross-country race in 27 minutes, 14.4 seconds, 0.9 seconds faster than Krog and 1.3 seconds faster than Graabak. Germany's Eric Frenzel finished fourth, but maintains his overall lead after winning the ski-jumping leg.

Humphries takes bobsled

The Canadian Kaillie Humphries was victorious in the women's World Cup bobsled race in St. Moritz, Switzerland. She and Heather Moyse posted a sensational second run with a time of 2 minutes, 16.96 seconds. The Germans Cathleen Martini and Christin Senkel came in second with a time of 2 minutes 17.14 seconds, while Swiss duo Fabienne Meyer and Tanja Mayer came third.

"Heather pushed amazing today, and that's what kept us afloat," Humphries said. "She had confidence in me. I came back and tried to drive the very best run I could and it was good enough for today."

In the men's two-man race, Germany's Francesco Friedrich missed the chance to grab his first win of the World Cup season. He and Jannis Bäcker could only manage third, behind Russians Alexandr Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda and the winners Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann of Switzerland.

dr/mkg (dpa, AP, Reuters, AFP, SID)

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