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20/11/2017 - 21:43
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Santa Caterina (ITA), 07.01.2005.
Impressive 5th place for Janica Kostelic
Janica Kostelic achieved her best performance ever in a World Cup downhill in finishing 5th in Santa Caterina, only half a second behind the winner, France's Ingrid Jacquemod. Two years ago, she was 6th in Lenzerheide and 7th yesterday.

It's also an excellent performance for the Overall World Cup standings considering the fact that Anja Paerson didn't start in that race to better focus on the coming technical events. Tanja Poutiainen is still leading it with 626 points, but Janica is now only 22 points behind her and 65 points ahead of Anja Paerson!

Janica was delighted by her run despite a few mistakes in the upper part and at the jump, and she looks forward with great confidence for the coming World Championships. "The combined downhill is very nice too and this result is good for my confidence," she said after the race. "I'm very happy to be so consistent on such a demanding course, it proves that my physical form is good too," she added. "I feel fine in all specialties right now."

Kostelic, who is now 7th in the downhill World Cup standings just ahead of Italy's leading specialist Isolde Kostner, was faster today by almost two seconds than Thursday - which means that she must have glided at nearly 145 km/h on the fastest part of the course. "It's a good course for experience skiers and I would be surprised to see an outsider winning here in a month," she also said. "Some parts are tricky thought and I hope that some angles can be cut in a month."

Ante Kostelic was also satisfied with Janica's form. "It's good to see that she has been quite consistent since the season's start and we hope she can keep the same level in the coming weeks," he said. "The most important for her remains to stay healthy!"

Many observers believe that Janica will be aiming for medals in all the events of the coming World Championships. "Her form is improving and she is incredibly relaxed, I think she will be able to fight for medals in all the races here next month," said Italy's former downhiller Pietro Vitalini, who is now a co-commentator for Swiss TV.

"She was quite aggressive today, she was certainly fighting hard to improve her performance from Thursday. The edges of her skis may have been too sharp this time, she had some problems but she was really going for it in an impressive way. In a month, she should be at the top of her form."

In tomorrow's giant slalom, Janica will try to reach her third podium of the season in a giant slalom. Only Austria's new wondergirl Marlies Schild could beat her last week in Semmering in that specialty. In St Moritz, Janica crashed at the end of the second run while fighting for her first win in a World Cup GS.

Manuèle Lang
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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