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Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany wins gold in women's giant slalom

February 25, 2010 | 10:54 am


Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany earned a surprise victory in the women's giant slalom at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Thursday.

 Rebensburg, who has never won a major race, finished her two runs in 2 minutes, 27.11 seconds.

Tina Maze of Slovenia was second, 0.12 seconds behind, matching her result in super-G, and first-run leader Elisabeth Goergl of Austria added another bronze, 0.49 back, duplicating her downhill finish.

U.S. skier and defending Olympic women's giant slalom champion Julia Mancuso, who was 18th after the first run, finished eighth.

The first run of the race was held Wednesday, but dense fog forced organizers to postpone the second leg for a day.

Like the first leg Wednesday, organizers again rushed to get the race in, sending racers down at 60- and 75-second intervals — meaning there were often two skiers on the course at a time.

The short intervals created problems in the first leg, with Mancuso's first trip down interrupted because teammate Lindsey Vonn crashed out immediately ahead of her — breaking her right pinkie.

Mancuso had to be brought back up for another try but couldn't match the speed of her aborted run. She had the third-fastest second run, to move up 10 spots in the final standings.  

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Viktoria Rebensburg competes in the women's giant slalom on Thursday. Credit: Oliver Morin, AFP/Getty Images.