Bode Miller won a World Cup giant slalom Saturday in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, a big step toward a milestone no American has reached since 1983 -- the overall World Cup Alpine skiing title.
Miller, of Franconia, N.H., recorded his sixth victory of the season and the 12th of his career to overtake Austrian star Hermann Maier for the overall lead. Miller also moved to the top of the giant slalom standings with his third victory of the season in that event.
The last time a U.S. skier won the overall title was 21 years ago, when the Americans scored a double -- Phil Mahre won the men's crown and Tamara McKinney took the women's title.
Miller surged down the tight Podkoren course in a two-run time of 2 minutes 13.01 seconds, 0.25 of a second ahead of Alberto Schieppati. Alexander Ploner and Fredrik Nyberg tied for third in 2:13.61.
With the 100 points for the victory, Miller tops the overall standings with 1,084 points. Maier, who finished 12th, is second with 1,076. Benjamin Raich, who finished 17th, is third with 999.
Miller also leads the giant slalom standings with 410 points. Finland's Kalle Palander lost the lead during the opening run when he caught a ski and missed the next-to-last gate. He has 349 points.
Tanja Poutiainen won the first World Cup Alpine skiing race in Finland, winning a slalom in her home country and ending Anja Paerson's four-race win streak in her specialty.
Poutiainen finished with a combined time of 1 minute 49.12 seconds on a course in the resort town of Levi, just north of the Arctic Circle.
Elisabeth Goergl was second, 0.18 behind, and Maria Riesch was third, 0.33 back. Paerson was fourth, 0.38 behind, the first time this season she finished out of the top three.
Hannu Manninen of Finland won his seventh World Cup Nordic combined event this season in Oslo and closed in on the overall title. He finished first in the concluding 7.5-kilometer freestyle cross-country ski portion in 17 minutes 9.4 seconds. In the morning, he was 14th in the ski jump.
Top-ranked Justin Henin-Hardenne won her second consecutive Dubai Open title in the United Arab Emirates, defeating 18-year-old Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-6 (3), 6-3, and improving her record this year to 14-0.
Robin Soderling beat seventh-seeded Arnaud Clement, 6-3, 6-3, in the semifinals of the Open 13 tournament at Marseille, France. Soderling, a 19-year-old Swede, will play for his first ATP Tour title today against Dominik Hrbaty, who defeated Jonas Bjorkman, 7-6 (9), 6-3.
Track and Field
Gail Devers won the 60-meter hurdles and the 60-meter dash at the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships in Boston, becoming the only American to win both events at the meet.
The only other person to win the 60 and 60 hurdles at the U.S. Indoors was Chi Cheng of Taiwan in 1970, when foreign athletes were allowed to compete.
Although it was a momentous day for Devers, it was a disappointing one for Maurice Greene, who pulled out of the men's 60 final with a strained right hamstring.
With Greene out, Shawn Crawford won in 6.47. John Capel was second in 6.52.
USC junior Allen Simms won the triple jump with a mark of 55-4 3/4. Simms earned a spot on the U.S. team at the 2004 World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, starting Friday.
Lightweight boxer Louis Villalta collapsed in his dressing room, minutes after losing a 12-round fight against Ricky Quiles in Coconut Creek, Fla. Villalta, 35, was transferred to a hospital, where he remained unconscious early this morning.
"When he got out of the ring, he was fine. There was no staggering," said Villalta's trainer, Charles Johnson. "When we got back to the dressing room, he was fine. The only thing he said was his head was hurting him."
Stanford won the Pacific 10 Conference women's swimming championship for the second time in three years at Long Beach. The Cardinal had 1,380 points, UCLA was second with 1,329 and USC was sixth at 806.5.
Joe Hamilton completed 19 of 29 passes for 248 yards and six touchdowns and ran for two more to lead the Orlando Predators (1-2) to a 59-43 victory over the Carolina Cobras (2-2) in an Arena Football League game at Charlotte, N.C.