Alpine Skiing - Alpine skiing-Innerhofer wins Wengen downhill

By Manuele Lang

WENGEN, Switzerland, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Christof Innerhofer became the first Italian in 16 years to tame the Lauberhorn and win the classic Wengen downhill on Saturday.

In two minutes 29.82 seconds, the super-G world champion won the fifth Alpine ski World Cup race of his career and the third downhill.

Already fastest in Friday's downhill leg of the super-combined here, the Italian emulated his compatriot Kristian Ghedina who won the race in 1997, his second Wengen victory.

Innerhofer beat two Austrians, 2011 winner Klaus Kroell, who was 0.30 adrift, and Hannes Reichelt, who trailed the Italian by 0.76.

Frenchman Johan Clarey was quickest in the Hanneggschuss, the fastest section on the men's circuit, and set an unofficial speed record in a men's World Cup race of 161.9 kph but had to be content with fifth place at the finish.

Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, the downhill World Cup leader, crashed after losing a ski shortly after a jump and ended up in the safety nets.

The Norwegian was unhurt but lost precious ground in the overall World Cup, still led by Austria's Marcel Hirscher, the arch-favourite in Sunday's slalom. (Editing by Clare Fallon)