Lindsey Vonn of the United States claimed her third straight overall World Cup title when she won Friday’s super-G race.
Vonn was the last racer to go down the Kandahar hill and could have chosen not to race since she knew by then she had the title.
The American was assured of the overall triumph when rival and friend Maria Riesch of Germany dropped out of the top two. Riesch finished fourth, giving Vonn an unassailable lead of 215 points in the standings before the last race of the season, Saturday’s slalom.
“I was so nervous because the overall World Cup title was on the line,” Vonn said. “An overall title is one of the biggest things you can win in our sport.”
Vonn also picked up titles in the downhill, the super-G and the combined events and is now the American with most World Cup wins at 33. Bode Miller, who skipped the final week of racing, has 32.
“I gave it all I had. I have nothing more (left in me),” Vonn said. “I am the most successful American ever and I am very, very happy.”
Vonn became the first woman to win three straight overall titles since Petra Kronberger of Austria in 1990-92.
Riesch needed to finish in the top two to remain in the battle for the race.
Vonn won the super-G on the 2,180-meter long Kandahar course in 1 minute, 19.30 seconds. Elisabeth Goergl of Austria was second in 1:19.46 and Nadia Styger of Switzerland took third in 1:19.87, .02 seconds ahead of Riesch.
“I am a little upset because I had really good race at the top but I made a mistake at the bottom, near the finish line,” Riesch said. “But I still have a chance for the slalom title on Saturday.”
Vonn won four of seven super-G races this season. She also won the downhill gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics and the bronze in the super-G.