Henkel Wins 7.5-Kilometer Sprint

The Associated Press
Friday, December 8, 2006; 6:59 AM

HOCHFILZEN, Austria -- Andrea Henkel of Germany won her first World Cup sprint title Friday with a perfect performance in the women's 7.5-kilometer race.

Henkel won in 24 minutes, 22.6 seconds. Poland's Magdalena Gwizdon, who also shot clean, finished 30.6 seconds behind.

China's Yingchao Kong led until the last lap but finished third _ 37.4 seconds back.

Henkel maintained her lead in the overall standings with 154 points, five more than Gwizdon and 20 more than Kati Wilhelm of Germany.

"I am so delighted to win here," Henkel said. "It was a tough race, so I am very pleased to see there was such a big gap between me and the rest."

Last week, organizers had transported between 247,000 and 283,000 cubic feet of snow from Grossglockner _ Austria's highest mountain _ to get the track ready for the meet.

"Under these circumstances, the track was prepared quite well," Henkel said.

© 2006 The Associated Press