American speed queen Lindsey Vonn equalled Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 19 crystal globes when she scorched to victory in Thursday’s super-G at the season-ending World Cup finals.
Fresh from claiming the 18th globe of her glittering career in Wednesday’s downhill, Vonn went into the super-G with just an eight-point advantage over Austrian starlet Anna Fenninger.
Fenninger started with bib number 15, timing a leading 1min 08.19sec down the 1.7km-long Roc de Fer course to pile the pressure on.
Vonn had it all to do, four runners later, in softening snow conditions in brilliant sunshine.
And the 30-year-old American made no mistake for her fifth super-G globe (after also winning 2009-12), clocking 1:07.70 for an emphatic victory, a record 67th for women on the World Cup circuit.
It was a remarkable achievement considering Vonn’s chequered 18-month comeback from a serious knee injury sustained in the 2013 world championships which required a second operation.
Winning the two speed globes, she said (having also clinched the downhill on Wednesday), was “incredibly special”.
“It’s exciting to have 19 globes,” said the 30-year-old American after her eighth speed victory (and 10th podium) this season – her record 67th on the World Cup circuit. “To be tied with Ingemar Stenmark is an amazing honour.
“Even though I have 19, these two are the most special for me. I’ve missed pretty much two seasons with two major knee injuries, and pretty much everyone didn’t think I’d be back.
“For those who doubted me, this is a pretty good answer,” she said, adding that she thrived on “high pressure and having to come through”.
“I love these situations! It obviously makes the choice very easy. When I knew Anna was in the lead, I had no other option to go as fast as I could!” said Vonn, who this season had only five days of downhill training and 20 in total.
It was also Vonn’s fifth downhill-super-G double in World Cup standings, and the first time since the 2011/12 season. No other woman has achieved this feat more than three times.
Slovenian Tina Maze completed the podium, third at 0.80sec, her 60 points taking her to 1,421pts in the race against Fenninger for the overall title.
Fenninger stretched her lead over Maze to 32pts, with the slalom and giant slalom scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.