Skiing: American ski great Vonn one victory away from setting World Cup wins record

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, ITALY (AFP) - American ski great Lindsey Vonn equalled the record of overall World Cup wins on Sunday with her 62nd victory in the women's downhill at the Italian resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The 30-year-old - who could have reached the landmark earlier but for an 18-month injury absence - equalled the record of Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell, who competed between 1970 and 1980.

Vonn, who could break the record on Monday in the super-G at the same venue, edged out Austrian Elisabeth Goergl with Elena Fanchini of Italy - winner of Friday's downhill - third.

"It's a pretty special moment for me," said Vonn, whose parents were in Cortina. "These records mean a lot to me and my family."

Tiger Woods' girlfriend said that it had been at Cortina where she had first realised she could be a force in the sport.

"When I won my first podium here (January 2004) I never thought I would make it this far in my career," said Vonn. "That was the first time I thought I could be a contender. Never in a million years would I have believed I could tie the record."

Despite difficult conditions with poor visibility and fog covering the summit of the Dolomites piste, Vonn consolidated her victory on the bottom of the course. After crossing the finish line, the American slumped with joy in the snow at the foot of one of her favourite runs, the Olympia delle Tofane, where she won for the sixth time.

No skier thereafter could match Vonn, the Olympic downhill champion in 2010 and world champion in the discipline in 2009, with only Goergl a close second at 0.32sec.

Merighetti was more than half a second off the pace in third, with fellow Italian Fanchini, a surprise winner at home in Friday's downhill which replaced the cancelled event from Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, confirming her fine form with a fourth-place finish.

Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze finished fifth to solidify her position atop the standings as second-placed Mikaela Shiffrin does not compete in the downhill and defending overall champion Anna Fenninger, who was in third place going into the race, could only finish ninth.