Erik Guay won the downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, yesterday for his first World Cup victory and the first for Canadian men in 13 years.

Guay clocked 1 minute 56.80 seconds on the Kandahar course to beat Friday's winner, Andrej Jerman of Slovenia, by half a second.

"It's taken awhile, but it's an awesome feeling," Guay said. "It hasn't sunk in yet. There will be a huge party tonight."

Didier Cuche of Switzerland was third in 1:57.33 and stretched his lead in downhill standings.

Bode Miller of the United States did not start because of a neck injury. The top American was Scott Macartney in 23rd place.

Guay was third in Friday's downhill and picked up his first victory with a blazing run on a course that froze overnight. The race was held in bright sunshine and spring-like temperatures.

"The snow firmed up nicely," he said.

The last Canadian man to win a downhill was Cary Mullen in Aspen, Colo., in 1994.

A slalom is scheduled today.

· CURLING: Todd Birr scored two in the ninth to set up a 6-5 victory in the first extra end and beat Craig Disher to win the U.S. curling championship in Utica, N.Y.

Debbie McCormick's team defended its American title and earned the right to represent the United States at the women's world championships. By beating the squad Cassie Johnson skipped at the Turin Olympics, McCormick is the first to win consecutive U.S. women's titles since Lisa Schoeneberg in 1995-96.

Birr and his brother, Kevin, both of Mankato, Minn., along with Bill Todhunter and Greg Johnson, both of Appleton, Wis., will represent the U.S. at the men's world championships March 31-April 8 in Edmonton, Alberta.

· SKELETON: Zach Lund of the United States won a skeleton race in Koenigssee, Germany, to clinch the overall World Cup title a year after missing the Turin Olympics because of a drug suspension.

Lund finished his two heats in 1:35.97 at the event, which also served as the European Championships. Alexander Tretiakov of Russia was second in 1:36.13 to claim European gold.

"I don't know what to say -- I'm just thankful after what happened last season," Lund said. "I just wanted to start strong this year and go all the way."

Lund missed the 2006 Winter Olympics because of a one-year doping suspension triggered by his use of a hair-restoration drug.

He beat Eric Bernotas of the United States for the season title, 653 points to 544. Bernotas was sixth yesterday in 1:36.47.

· GIANT SLALOM: Michaela Kirchgasser of Austria won a highly technical giant slalom in Sierra Nevada, Spain, for her first World Cup victory.

Kirchgasser moved up from third after the first run and skied the steep Fuente del Tesoro course in a two-run combined time of 2:14.41.

Nicole Hosp, the Austrian who won the giant slalom at the worlds 11 days ago and leads the World Cup giant slalom standings, was second, 0.42 of a second behind. Tanja Poutiainen of Finland, who had led after the first run, was third.

The 21-year-old Kirchgasser finished fourth in the giant slalom at the worlds. She sprained her thumb in training Friday but said she took painkillers before the race and the injury did not affect her.

"You ski with your feet, not your thumb," she said.

· SKI JUMPING: Switzerland's Simon Ammann won the large hill ski jumping gold medal at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo, Japan.

Ammann had jumps of 125 meters and 134.5 meters for 266.1 points on the 134-meter hill to hold off a charge by Finland's Harri Olli, who had the longest jump of 136.5, but finished second with 265.9 points.

Ammann, who won the normal and large hill gold medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, led after the first round and his second jump sealed the medal.

"My heart started beating after I heard Olli had a jump of 136 meters," Ammann said. "I was happy when I could go fast out of the gate. I did a good jump. It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough to win."

Roar Ljoekelsoey was third with 262.9 points after jumps of 123 and 135 meters. Olli was second going into the final round after a first jump of 124 meters.