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Hoefl-Riesch wins opening World Cup slalom

LEVI, Finland (AFP) –

Maria Hoefl-Riesch during the first run of women's slalom in Levi, Finland

German skier Maria Hoefl-Riesch during the first run of women’s slalom as part of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup held in Levi ,Finland on November 10, 2012. Hoefl-Riesch racked up her 24th World Cup victory on Saturday when she won the opening slalom of the season.

Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch racked up her 24th World Cup victory on Saturday when she won the opening slalom of the season.

The 27-year-old two-time Olympic champion – she won gold in both the slalom and the combined in the 2010 edition in Vancouver – beat Finland’s Tanja Poutiainen and young American Mikaela Schiffrin by 55hundreths and 74 hundreths of a second respectively.

Pre-race favourite Marlies Schild of Austria will have to wait a bit longer to equal the all-time slalom victory of 34 held by Swiss great Vreni Vreni Schneider as she crashed out on the first leg.

American superstar Lindsey Vonn gave the race a miss in order to focus on the giant slalom and slalom set for Aspen, Colorado, on November 24-25.

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