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Lindsey Vonn ties downhill wins record in dominating fashion

Lindsey Vonn tied the record for career World Cup downhill wins with her 36th and cut into her deficit in the World Cup overall standings in Zauchensee, Austria, on Saturday.

The four-time World Cup overall champion picked up her 72nd career World Cup win in a two-run, sprint downhill race.

Half of those victories have come in downhill, with Vonn matching retired Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll‘s record for men and women in that discipline. Moser-Pröll, whose women’s overall World Cup wins record Vonn famously broke last season, applauded near the finish line and hugged Vonn post-victory.

Vonn prevailed by a combined one second over the two runs, with Canadian Larisa Yurkiw in second and Austria’s Cornelia Huetter third. Full results are here.

Vonn led by a comfortable .91 of a second after the first run.

“I definitely didn’t expect such a big advantage going into the second run,” Vonn told media in Zauchensee. “I wasn’t trying to do anything special. With two runs, I figured if I was behind in the first run, I can maybe ski a little bit more aggressively in the second.

“I skied a little bit more conservatively second run [with the large time advantage]. It’s definitely more pressure in the second run when you’re leading.”

Vonn moved from third to second place in the standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest prize in the sport this season with no World Championships or Olympics.

She also gained the maximum 100 points on standings leader Swiss Lara Gut, who momentarily lost her balance and skied out in the first run. Gut’s lead was cut from 158 points to 58 over Vonn with more than half of the season still to go.

Vonn, 31, is not only trying to become the oldest World Cup overall champion but also chasing the World Cup wins record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

Vonn prevailed for the first time since Dec. 12., when she had a four-race win streak. Vonn’s last three results were two DNFs and a 13th place as she fell behind Gut in the overall standings to end the calendar year.

“I lost my momentum, and I was tired, my knees hurt, I was sick,” Vonn said. “Then I went home, and I felt much better. ... I’m re-energized.”

The women’s World Cup continues with a super-G in Zauchensee on Sunday, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 5:30 a.m. ET.

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