Lindsey Vonn Jonathan Selkowitz/Red Bull Photofiles

Defending overall world champion Lindsey Vonn believes she can still improve her performance after posting the fastest time in the final downhill training session ahead of this weekend’s FIS Women’s World Cup event in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Vonn claimed her first World Cup downhill podium at the same venue in 2004 and knows she must make up lost ground after rival and friend Maria Riesch leapfrogged her at the top of the overall standings recently, opening up a 28-point advantage.

She posted a time of 1 minute 38.98 seconds in Thursday's training run on the sun-drenched Olympia delle Tofane course. "I definitely tightened the screws today a lot more than yesterday," she said, "but I think I still have one or two more gears left. It was a solid run. I made some mistakes on the top but I like the way I skied in the middle. I'm really happy with the run."

With Germany’s Riesch placed 46th after hitting a rock, Vonn will be looking to add to her tally of World Cup wins at Cortina this weekend as she bids to seal a third consecutive overall title.

"I'm confident in what I'm doing. Some people yesterday were like, 'Oh, she's not in top form,' but I normally don't push myself too hard in the training runs." (Vonn finished 8th in Wednesday's training.)

"I have to leave a little bit for the races, and I definitely have more to give so hopefully this weekend is another good one for me."

Anja Paerson was more than half a second behind Vonn in second place with a time of 1:39.55 while Nadia Fanchini was third quickest.

For the latest from the slopes, visit the FIS World Cup site.


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