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22/11/2017 - 06:49
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Slalom, Park City (USA), 23.11.2002.
14th victory for Janica Kostelic
Janica Kostelic started her slalom season as well as she finished it last winter in Flachau - with a victory. The triple Olympic Champion once more dominated all her rivals on the technically demanding slalom course of Park City to win her 14th World Cup race with an advantage of 70/100 of a second over France's Christel Pascal while Austria's Sabine Egger, the 1999 slalom World Cup winner, was 3rd, ahead of Laure Pequegnot, the 2002 slalom World Cup champion.

Another Croatian skier, Nika Fleiss, was 10th - scoring her first World Cup points ever in that event. It's also the first time that both racers excelled in the same race. The only 15-year Ana Jelusic who competed in her first World Cup slalom didn't qualify for the second run, but she again deonstrated her great determination.

2nd win for Janica in Park City

It's the second time that the skier from Zagreb wins this slalom - she clinched it already in November 2000.

"Apparently there is a great relationship between Park City and myself" she said with a smile after the race. "I always did well here in slalom, certainly because I feel comfortable on this slope. I especially enjoy more flat section where I really can let my skis run. Most of the other skiers are afraid to take risks there - in fact it's quite easy, you can be very aggressive if you dare to".
Janica took a strong lead in the first run in which she was half a second faster than Christel Pascal, the silver medal winner from the World Championships in St Anton in 2001. In the second run a few competitors starting much earlier did better than her, mostly thanks to the better course conditions.

A good tactic

"I was afraid that the conditions would deteriorate a lot in the afternoon, so I gave my best in the first run already in order to have a solid margin on the other skiers" she explained.
"It was a good decision because the design of the second run was horrible - it was sometimes closer to a giant slalom. It's a shame and this should not happen. I was really upset on my way down the course".
On the winner's podium, Janica received the red jersey of the leader in the slalom standings which she didn't wear since spring 2001 when she clinched the Overall World Cup title in Are, Sweden.
"It's a nice feeling but I don't make plans for the future" she told the media at the press conference. "I still feel far from my best form, and I'm not pleased at all by my skiing right now. I need more time and much work in the coming weeks before reaching the level I wish to have".
"The season is long and I don't think in this moment about the World Cup or the World Championships. The most important for me is to remain healthy and relaxed".

Many problems for Janica

Last summer, Janica was plagued by a series of health problems including and appendicitis in July which prevented her from training seriously in August. She lost also a lot of time in October when she suffered from a viral infection in her stomach.
"She is really a phenomenon, a true champion" said an amazed Ivica Kostelic who jumped up and down on the finish line while his sister was ending her race.
"She is mentally so strong and also so cool, it's unbelievable".

Since her debute on the World Cup tour back in 1998, Janica has finished all the World Cup slaloms she entered, scoring a total of 16 top-3 finishes - ironically she never ended 2nd!

On Sunday, Ivica will try hard to imitate his sister - after all he also won the last slalom in Flachau eleven months ago!

Park City Slalom results:
1. JANICA KOSTELIC (HRVATSKA) 1:39.61,
2. Christel Pascal (Francuska) 1:40.31,
3. Sabine Egger (Austrija) 1:40.75...
10. NIKA FLEISS (HRVATSKA) 1:41.57...

Women's Slalom World Cup Standings:
1. KOSTELIC 100 bodova,
2. Pascal 80,
3. Egger 60...
10. FLEISS 26

Overall World Cup Standings:
1. KOSTELIC 184,
2. Nicole Hosp (Austrija) 132,
3. Sonja Nef (vicarska) 121...
29. FLEISS 26
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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