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23/11/2017 - 14:07
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Semmering (AUT), 29.12.2004.
Third slalom podium for Janica in Semmering
Janica Kostelic reached her third slalom podium this season in finishing a strong 2nd in the last race of the year which took place on Semmering's "Wonder Hill" in front of more than ten thousand spectators.

Janica, a two-time winner in that race in 2000 and 2002, only lost 1,04 seconds on the impressive Austrian Marlies Schild who already dominated the giant slalom on Tuesday.

Tanja Poutiainen, the recent winner in Altenmark was 3rd and Sweden's Anja Paerson a far 5th - 2,70 behind the winner.

In the evening, the skier from Zagreb achieved an almost perfect second run, losing only a few hundredths of a second on Schild which became the first athlete ever to win both races in Semmering.

In the first run, Janica looked somehow passive yet she still managed to clock the third best time behind Schild and Finland's Tanja Poutiainen, the most consistent slalom specialist this season with four top-3 finished including two wins.

She was pleased by her performance. "I had two good runs today, I didn't make mistakes. The 2nd run was excellent and I'm happy with my form considering the fact that I was sick last week. I lost some power so I need to rest a little before the coming races in Italy. My shape is basically OK, it's going a little up & down, but I'm really satisfied with my comeback. I reached the podium in all the three slaloms I finished so I can only be happy."

"I'm not surprised by Marlies Schild's win. I think she can even ski faster. She deserves a lot of respect for the way she skied here during two days. She was my favourite this morning before the race."

It was another bad day for Anja Paerson who didn't reach the podium despite two aggressive runs. She made a bad mistake at the middle of the second run, losing over half a second. But she would not have made the podium this time.

For the moment, Janica Kostelic's chances to play a major role in the battle for the Overall World Cup title look strong. She should score more points in the coming speed events. She is only 20 points behind Paerson now and 103 away from Poutiainen. The double downhills in Santa Caterina could help her to improve her position.

A turning point in this interesting fight could be the four speed events in Cortina d'Ampezzo in two weeks. Janica has already skied well there in past years, finishing twice 5th in Super-G and once 8th in downhill.

In January, six speed events (downhill/ Super-G) will take place against five technical events (giant slalom / slalom).

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