Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal won the men's season-opening World Cup Super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, for his first career victory yesterday, while reigning champion Bode Miller struggled for the second day in a row.
The 22nd skier out of the start hut, Svindal completed the Olympic course in 1 minute 26.04 seconds, then had to wait for the discipline's top contenders to know if his time would hold.
Austrian Benjamin Raich was second in 1:26.11, and American Daron Rahlves placed third, 0.08 of a second off the pace.
Both favorites, Miller and Austrian star Hermann Maier, committed costly mistakes and finished out of the top 15. It marked the worst Super-G result of Maier's career.
* NORDIC COMBINED: In Kuusamo, Finland, Mario Stecher of Austria won the first sprint event of the season.
Stecher overtook Petter Tande of Norway toward the end of the 7.5-kilometer freestyle event and won by four seconds. Georg Hettich of Germany was third.
Hannu Manninen, the reigning overall champion from Finland, had to start 30th after a mediocre jump, trailing the leader by 1:43. Manninen finished fourth.
* FIGURE SKATING: World champions Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov won the ice dancing gold at the Cup of Russia in St. Petersburg, completing a Russian sweep of the Grand Prix competition.
Their score of 102.81 for the free dance to music from "Carmen" was 15 points off their personal best, but included some impressive choreography.
Israel's Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovski won silver, dancing to "Bolero." Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin won bronze, followed by Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov of the United States.
* SPEEDSKATING: Shani Davis, Joey Cheek and Casey FitzRandolph gave the U.S. team a medal sweep in a World Cup 1,000-meter race in West Allis, Wis.
Davis was first in 1:08.43 to win for the second straight day at the Pettit National Ice Center. Davis has won four straight races and is the favorite at that distance for the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Cheek was second in 1:08.68 and FitzRandolph was third in 1:09.11.
* LUGE: In Altenberg, Germany, Tatjana Huefner won the women's singles event and extended Germany's singles streak to 59 races.
The 22-year-old Huefner captured her first World Cup race in 1:46.591 as Germany swept the top four places.
* CROSS-COUNTRY: World champion Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic won a World Cup 10-kilometer freestyle race, and Norway's Tore Ruud Hofstad won the men's 15K freestyle in Kuusamo, Finland.
Neumannova finished in 29:49.4. Hofstad, a bronze medalist in the 15K freestyle at last season's world championships, clocked 34:16.7.