Alpine skiing: Ruiz Castillo wins Meribel downhill

Spain's Carolina Ruiz Castillo registered her first alpine skiing World Cup victory here on Saturday, the 31-year-old claiming the women's downhill.

Born in Chile, Ruiz Castillo prevailed in a time of 1min 42.56sec to beat Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch (at .20s) and Marie Marchand-Arvier (.21s) of France.

This was only her second podium finish, 13 years after her first when she finished runner-up in the giant slalom on the Italian slope of Sestriere.

Ruiz Castillo is the first Spaniard to win a women's World Cup downhill - compatriot Blanca Fernandez Ochoa having won three slaloms and one giant slalom between 1985 and 1992.

Fourth behind Ruiz Castillo was Slovenia's Tina Maze, who leads the overall World Cup standings on 1744 points, 858 clear of Hoefl-Riesch.