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18/01/2019 - 09:54
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Slalom, Are (SWE), 08.03.2003.
Fifth slalom victory for Janica Kostelic
Janica Kostelic brilliantly confirmed her recent triumph in the World Championships slalom in St Moritz as she celebrated an impressive fifth World Cup victory in Are where the last race prior to the Finals in Norway’s Lillehammer took place by nice weather conditions. Clocking the fastest times in both runs, the Croat finally beat by 63/100 of a second her main rival Anja Paerson from Sweden, the winner in the night giant slalom on Thursday. The two champions shared all the wins in slalom this winter – five for Kostelic and three for Paerson.

Kostelic increased her lead in the overall World Cup standings on her closest rival, again Paerson. 595 points separate now both colleagues before the Finals in Lillehammer where Janica wants to score more points.
She may get very close to the record set by Pernilla Wiberg in March 1997 – a total of 1960 points. In 2001, the skier from Zagreb clinched her first Crystal globe with 1256 points – three hundred less than now!

It’s quite a prestigious duel that Kostelic was able to win in that exciting competition held in front of thousands of Swedish fans.
Paerson is the only contender who has the guts and the talent to seriously challenge her in the technical events, including slalom. The double World Champion from St Anton and St Moritz won a total of seven slalom races in the last two World Cup seasons - one more than Kostelic. Yet during the 2000 /2001 winter, Kostelic celebrated an amazing total of eight victories in slalom races!

After winning the giant slalom on Thursday, Paerson was quite motivated before this slalom. Taking all risks in both runs, she achieved a superb performance at the end of her second run in improving Bergmann’s time by 1, 11 seconds – enough to impress Kostelic herself at the start of her second run!

“When I heard about her advance, I thought it was over for me and I was ready to settle for 2nd place” the triple Olympic champion said afterwards.
“I went for another clean run and I was lucky enough to make only a small mistake before the finish line. It was for sure a very exciting race. There is always great competition between us which makes it interesting for both of us”.

“I never ended among the top-10 here and I don’t appreciate this hill a lot. It’s too flat and easy”.

“I’m really glad by my form in this moment. I was afraid to be tired coming here after my long season but I still have some energy left in me. In fact I’m still hungry and aiming for more. I don’t know exactly how many World Cup races I have won in my career but I’m always looking for more. In Lillehammer, I will not compete in the downhill to better prepare the other competitions”.

With a total of six victories including one combined, Kostelic has not won as often as two years ago, yet she accumulated more top-10 results in all specialties, including in downhill. “I’m only 21 and I’m happy to have many more goals left including winning once a downhill or a Super-G” she added.

“We are really pleased by her season” said team manager Vedran Pavlek. “She has been incredibly strong and consistent in all events which was her main goal. She still has not reached her best level so far. I think she only tried a few times to approach her limits – for instance in the second GS run in Cortina d’Ampezzo where she achieved an almost perfect race”.

“In Bormio she was unlucky as she crashed out with the best intermediate time. She also took some risks in the Super-G in Aspen and in the slalom in Bormio, but mostly she skied smoothly”.

“It was important to her to remain healthy and to win another overall World Cup title. But she still has much to reach in the coming years”.

Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
Vip Snow Queen Trophy - Hrvatski ski/board magazin

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