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22/11/2017 - 19:21
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Giant slalom, Are (SWE), 07.03.2003.
Janica did it!
Two years after her first triumph here, Janica Kostelic clinched her second overall World Cup title in Are at the end of the giant slalom race won by Sweden’s Anja Paerson. Paerson won her fourth consecutive GS since January and she took the lead in the specialty World Cup standings.

Janica, who came in 6th in that last giant slalom race prior to the Finals in Lillehammer, has built up her lead on her two last rivals - Austria’s Michaela Dorfmeister, who crashed out in the first run, and Italy’s Karen Putzer, only 9th. With only five races left in the calendar, the skier from Zagreb can no longer be caught by the Austrian Super-G World Champion or the tiny Italian who have a delay of more than 500 points on her.

The double World Champion from St Moritz, winner of four slaloms and a combined as well as two gold medals in St Moritz this winter, became the tenth skier in the history of the event to clinch a second overall World Cup title – certainly not her last triumph in this competition.

She was glad to have achieved her main goal this season after having scored points in all the races she finished! Quite an impressive record for her.
The only time she didn’t end a race happened in January in Bormio as she crashed out at the end of the giant slalom which she seemed able to win.
“It has been a long yet a very satisfying season, I’m glad to have made it safe until the end” she said afterwards.

“It was my main goal to get another overall title and it means a lot to me to have succeeded” she added. “It’s nice to prove that I could do it again which means you can also repeat it in future!”

“I’m really delighted but the season is not over yet. There are still a couple of races to come and to focus on”.

“After the 2002 Olympics, everyone was saying that I was the favourite for this World Cup season because of my good results at the end of the season. Yet, I wasn’t really sure that I could do it, because Michaela Dorfmeister was really strong last winter, and Alexandra Meissnitzer began really strong too...but when it started, I realised that the girls were not that strong, they were skiing good but none of them was really dominating so I just had to take some chances and to be consistent”.

“I tried to do my best in each race and I’m glad to have scored so many top-10 finishes including in downhill”.

“It was another important goal for me this year to be better in downhill because I was always behind in the past. Now I’m top-10 in all the disciplines including downhill and Super-G. GS and slalom went pretty well too”.

“I’m with the best in all disciplines and I’m happy with that. With a little more luck I could have also won a giant slalom”.

“Each time I tried hard to win something else than slalom I run into some problems. It never worked out fine - I crashed as in Bormio or did something stupid. It’s better not to think about it and ski normally”.
“When the time is going to come, I’ll do it. I’m patient and my career is still long”.

Beside her great moments at St Moritz, Janica lived other exciting days during the past winter, including this remarkable 5th of January, when she won the slalom on her 21st birthday – while her brother Ivica triumphed in Kranjska Gora.

“It was for sure special” she confirmed. “I always forget those moments as I don’t look back. I also enjoyed to race in Maribor where I came 2nd in slalom despite health problems. The crowd was good and Anja was very strong. It was a great fight. There were some problems with the fans and the newspapers wrote big stories about it but they are not all like that!”

Two years ago, when she clinched her first Crystal Cup, Janica struggled in the last week because of her knee injury. This time things went better even if she still feels some pain at her knee.

“Two years ago, I was really sick with everything” Janica explained. “It has been a tough battle with Renate Goetschl who looked pretty bad here. She crashed in some races. I felt sorry for her, but obviously happy for me. This year I’m much more relaxed, I had a strong advance of more than 500 points coming here, so it was much better”.

“I’ll have many more goals to reach for in the coming years, so it’s good that I have not won so many races this winter”.

“Yet when someone gives you a finger you want to take the whole hand! It’s always like that, but don’t worry, there is still a lot to do for me , like in downhill and Super-G. I guess that’s good to remain motivated”.

“I’m also having more and more fun. Sometimes, for sure it’s hard, but when the weather is nice and the atmosphere is good I like it a lot!”

In Saturday’s slalom, another big fight will oppose the two great dominators of the technical events, Janica and Anja, who won all the past slalom races so far. Janica never reached a podium here while Anja has been very consistent since 1999! It’s more than a revenge of the World Championships in St Moritz which will take place between the two great characters of the women’s tour!

In Lillehammer, Janica will start in Super-G, slalom and giant slalom.
“I won’t compete in the downhill. I think that’s it’s too busy otherwise”.

It’s not sure when the skier from Zagreb will undergo surgery at her knee to take out the piece of cartilage which bothered her so much at St Moritz. She may take part in the Croatian National Championships before the operation. Yet for the moment, she just want to enjoy her great form!
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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