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20/11/2017 - 21:46
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Slalom, St. Moritz (SUI), 15.02.2003.
Janica Kostelic close to second gold
Despite strong pain at her right hand injured during the last giant slalom, Janica Kostelic clocked the fastest time in the first slalom run held by beautiful weather conditions this morning. The new combined World Champion beat by 0.40 second Austria’s talented Marlies Schild and by 0.45 second Nicole Hosp, the silver medallist in the combined last week.

France’s Laure Pequegnot, the 2003 slalom World Cup champion, 4th, already lost a full second on the Croatian superstar who has a big chance to clinch a second gold medal in St Moritz. Her main contender this season, Anja Paerson is a far 15th in this first leg. The giant slalom World Champion made two major mistakes in the upper part of the course and lost 1.60 on Kostelic who she beat three times this winter.

Kostelic, the reigning Olympic Champion in the event, achieved a clean and aggressive run on the bottom of the Engiadina course yet she seemed to suffer from her right hand after the race. According to her staff, the 22-year-old did not take any pain killer before the race. On the eve of the competition, Janica explained that she was aiming for any medal and that she will try her best in this last women’s event of the St Moritz World Championships. Apparently, she was also irritated by comments made by some of her rivals who questioned the seriousness of her recent injuries.

On Monday, Kostelic will know by herself how bad the injury at her right knee is after more examinations done in Zagreb.

The triple Olympic Champion is such a strong-minded fighter that she can forget her pains when the clocks start to tick. In the second run, she should be able to successfully defend her lead against less experienced skiers as Schild and Hosp who are competing in their first major medal events. In the combined slalom, Hosp proved how determined she is in challenging her until the last gate. She lost the combined title by only 4/100 of a second at the end.

Also very motivated is Laure Pequegnot, who didn’t reach a podium this season after dominating the last season. No French athlete won a medal so far in these World Championships. Last year, Laure captured an Olympic silver medal in Salt Lake City behind Kostelic.
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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