Rolland pips Fanchini to gold

Marion Rolland won gold in the women's downhill by a fraction of a second at the 2013 FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships in Schladming.

The Frenchwoman pipped Italy's Nadia Fanchini to the title by just 0.16 seconds ahead of Germany's Super Combined champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch in bronze, 0.7 seconds back.

Fanchini, wearing bib number two, held the lead with a quicker time than all of the pre-race favourites before Rolland edged her into silver medal position.

The surprise win was the first for the 30-year-old at a major championship and the third medal for France at these World Championships.

Rolland told "Since I was a kid, I wanted to become a world champion. This is like a dream to me.

"If you believe in yourself and your dreams, you will reach them one day. It was absolutely breathtaking today."

Fanchini, who was a bronze medallist in the World Championships downhill in Val d'Isere in 2009, was still delighted to be adding silver to her collection.

She said: "I clinched a medal and can't believe it. After a bad crash in Kitzbuehel in 2010, it was only my fourth downhill competition since my comeback"

Tina Maze, current overall World Cup leader, finished the downhill event in seventh place while Switzerland's Nadja Kamer and Julia Mancuso and Stacey Cook of the United States finished in the top six.