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19/01/2019 - 06:19
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Slalom, Flachau (AUT), 10.03.2002.
Victories for Kostelic and Pequegnot
Croatia's Janica Kostelic and France's Laure Pequegnot are the last winners of the World Cup season which ended with another exciting race at Flachau today. The triple Olympic Champion won her first World Cup race of the season while the silver medallist from Deer Valley clinched the slalom Cup in finishing 5th - 1,28 seconds behind the winner. Her last rival, America's Kristine Koznick, was a far 13th - her worst result this winter.

Sweden's Anja Paerson, 2nd at 57/100 of a second from Janica, was a disappointed third in the final standings - she would have won it easily after her four consecutive victories earlier this winter with a more cautious attitude at Saalbach and Berchtesgaden where she skied out.

She beat once more her teammate Ylva Nowen, 3rd at 72/100 while Finland's Tanja Poutiainen was again 4th as in Are and Maribor.

13th win for Janica

Janica Kostelic, who only finished once on the podium this winter in a World Cup slalom - at Berchtesgaden. This newest victory - her 13th on the World Cup tour since 1999 - is important for many reasons - including to reinforce her position in the first slalom group.

"I wanted to win a race before the end of the season to confirm my recent victories at Salt Lake City" she explained after the race.

"In the GS I had no chance because of my high start number so I focused totally on this race. My first run was OK so I could take more risks in the second one. It went out fine and I'm very glad to win this race a day after Ivica".

"I was so happy yesterday after his success, he has worked so hard for it. I was very moved too - it means a lot for us".

"It's great that we can end the season together here - it's the first time that we both qualify for the World Cup Finals. But I'm pretty tired and I feel much pain at my right hand. I took off the cast yesterday to work better with my pole but it was tough".

"At Snowbasin, I said that I had pains in most parts of my body except in my right arm and in my braids, but now my right arm is also in bad shape after my crash in the Super-G".

"I'll need some time to recover my full physical potential. Next week we compete at the National Championships at Innerkrems then we go back to train somewhere".

"It has been a tough season but I can't complain now. The most important now is to remain as healthy as possible to start the next winter in good shape. I still enjoy ski racing a lot and I hope to win many more races".

A wonderful success for Laure

Next season should be quite exciting with a new generation of ambitious champions ready to challenge Janica in future - including Anja Paerson or Laure Pequegnot. She became the first French skier to clinch the slalom title since Perrine Pelen in 1980 - a great achievement for her eight years after becoming junior World Champion in 1994.

"It's a wonderful success, the slalom World Cup title means a lot for me" she said. "You have to work very hard to be consistent throughout the entire winter. I have scored points in each race since the beginning. I tried to end with another top-3 result here but I didn't manage to be aggressive enough at the end. But that's OK - there are many more races to come in future".

Now most of the skiers will compete in their national championships - the next World Cup race is scheduled in seven month - end of October at Soelden.
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
Vip Snow Queen Trophy - Hrvatski ski/board magazin

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