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18/01/2019 - 11:42
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Combined, St. Moritz (SUI), 10.02.2003.
Janica Kostelic did it!
Two years after clinching her first overall World Cup title and twelve months after her Olympics triumphs in Salt Lake City, Janica Kostelic reached another summit in her career in capturing her first gold medal at World Championships. Despite strong pain at her right knee, the Croatian “wondergirl” fought hard to beat by 6/100 of a second Austria’s Nicole Hosp and by 2,20 seconds Switzerland’s Marlies Oester.
Another Austrian, Marlies Schild, was 4th, only 2/100 away from bronze while Martina Ertl, the defending combined champion was a far 6th. Only 21 skiers finished the competitions raced by perfect weather conditions.

A tough battle

Kostelic, who didn’t win a world championships medal in 1999 and 2001, had to battle as Bode Miller until the last gate of the second slalom run to secure her first gold medal in those events.
A distant 12th in the downhill won by Sweden’s Janette Hargin, Janica lost half a second on Nicole Hosp in that opening competition of this three-run event.
In the first slalom run, she reduced her delay down to 17/100 – yet the young Austrian, winner in a World Cup giant slalom in Soelden last October, was not impressed at all before her last run.
Hosp took again great risks in the final run in which she was the last to start. She retained her lead at the intermediate time - yet at the end, she lost gold by a few hundredths!

“It has been a hard battle during the entire day, it was really difficult for me” said Kostelic after the race. “I lost much time in the downhill and I had to achieve two great runs to beat Hosp who was very determined” she added.
“I felt strong pain at my right knee after the downhill and it was not easy to ski as fast as I wanted in the slalom. This gold medal means a lot to me and even more for my fans who support me so much since years. They hope strongly that I will have more success this time than in 2001!”
“It’s nice to have already reached all the main goals in ski racing at 21 but I still want to go for more in future”.
“Regarding my injury, I don’t know exactly what happened today. We will check my knee and decide, what is the best choice for me now. I may rest a while and skip the giant slalom to better prepare the slalom”.

Janica injured her two knees in the last six years. She injured her right knee in 1997 and again in 2001. She underwent three operations in the weeks following her overall World Cup victory in March 2001 and she apparently hurt it again recently while training her condition before traveling to St Moritz. The pain became suddenly stronger this morning while she raced in the downhill in which she started very well.
In December 1999, Kostelic survived a terrible crash here while training downhill and she severely injured herself at the ligaments of her left knee. She had to work extremely hard to recover her best form after the surgery done in the Bruderholz Hospital in Basle, Switzerland.

A tough jump

“It seems that she landed too roughly after a jump” said her team manager, Vedran Pavlek. “Our doctor treated her as well as possible but she showed again great courage today” he added.
“This victory is very important for her and the team. There is a strong pressure on us to repeat our great success from Salt Lake City and Janica was ready to try as hard as possible to reach a good result and please her fans”.

The next women’s race, the women’s giant slalom, is scheduled for Thursday- in only two days. It might be too short for Janica to be back in shape.
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
Vip Snow Queen Trophy - Hrvatski ski/board magazin

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