100mph World Cup downhill ski barrier broken by Johan Clarey

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Downhill skier breaks 100mph

French skier Johan Clarey became the first person to break the 100mph barrier during a World Cup race.

The 32-year-old clocked 100.6mph during the Wengen downhill in Switzerland, but could only finish fifth in the race, won by Italian Christof Innerhofer.

The previous record of 98mph, set by Italian Stefan Thanei in 2005, was beaten four times during the weekend.

Swiss Carlo Janka recorded 98.66mph then Canada's Benjamin Thomsen 99.3mph and Austrian Hannes Reichelt 99.6mph.

Clarey predicted he would "hold this record for a long time now".

Innerhofer was fastest overall down the 2.7mile Lauberhorn course, the longest on the World Cup circuit, in two minutes, 29 seconds.

Klaus Kröll of Austria was second 0.30 seconds behind, while his team-mate Reichelt was third.

The historic Lauberhorn run combines high levels of speed and difficulty in navigating a tricky and energy-sapping course.

It was clear the conditions were right for a speed record after Switzerland's Janka set a new mark by clocking 158.77 kph (98.66 mph) in the downhill leg of the super-combined event on Friday.

Then on Saturday, the hard packed snow and good visibility contributed to the record-breaking speeds being reached.

Clarey added: "It's a good feeling. I felt it was faster than in training and it wasn't scary. It's a little thing in the race but I'm happy to have it."

More than 30,000 fans were watching as Innerhofer took the honours.

"It's amazing winning at Wengen. It wasn't dangerous. I know people speak a lot about safety, but it's downhill."

In the World Cup standings, Marcel Hirscher of Austria currently heads the leaderboard for men and Tina Maze of Slovenia, the women.