TIGNES, France — Maria Walliser of Switzerland squeaked out her second victory of the World Cup ski season today, winning the women's downhill by .41 second over France's Carole Merle.
Walliser covered the 2,122-meter slope in 1 minute, 19.16 seconds.
Merle was timed in at 1:19.57, followed by West Germany's Michaela Gerg at 1:19.63.
Switzerland's Michela Figini was foiled in her bid for her third consecutive victory this season and placed fifth, .99 second behind Walliser.
Merle moved into second place in the overall standings with 161 points.
Vreni Schneider, far ahead in first place with 257 points, did not compete today. She will race in Friday's super-giant slalom.
"I'm happy to have won the last downhill before the world championships," Walliser said of the competition to be held in Vail, Colo., Jan 29 to Feb. 12. She said she hopes to win the downhill and giant slalom there.
Walliser, who won two bronze medals at last year's Olympics, was the World Cup overall champion in 1986 and 1987.