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24/11/2017 - 19:22
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Bormio (ITA), 04.02.2005.
6th gold medal for Janica Kostelic
She did it! After another tough battle against Sweden's Anja Paerson during the entire day, Janica Kostelic celebrated her sixth gold medal at the end of a very exciting combined event raced on the "Deborah Compagnoni" course in Santa Caterina. Thanks to an outstanding second slalom run, the skier from Zagreb beat Anja by an amazing margin of 1,45 seconds while Austria's Marlies Schild was 3rd at 2,70 seconds.

It's Janica's third consecutive triumph in a combined since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City - but certainly her most perfect with best times in both specialties - first the downhill then the slalom. She is the first skier to have achieved this performance since the re-introduction of the classic alpine combined into the program of the FIS Medal Events in 1982!

She showed much emotion after the race while answering tons of interviews with the international broadcasters and the Croatian Media. "This is certainly a very special win for me," she said. "To clinch the title with best times in both parts of the competition is fantastic, it means a lot to me. But I'm also very proud to have achieved this goal looking back to what happened to me since last year. Last summer, I was very far from believing that something like this could happen! It's really big."

"I had other things in my mind which I had to care about. Ski racing was not my priority at that moment, but I never thought to quit!"

"I skied a very strong downhill, it was almost perfect. The course was really challenging and I felt very comfortable. I knew that Anja will fight hard for the title in both slalom runs, but I felt solid. I knew that a good downhill was crucial to have a good chance to retain the title. I tried to push hard and it worked out well."

"My first run was so-so, nothing special yet I didn't lose too much time on her, so I was pretty pleased because I was tired before the start of the slalom."

"I spoke with Ivica between the runs and he gave me some important advices.

"During the inspection of the second run, I immediately saw that the course was perfect for me, because the setting was narrower. I better suited my style. I could attack it well, especially in the lower part. I was so happy to cross the finish line, because I felt so tired. Finally the day was over!"

"In fact, between the runs, I talked about this with Anja who told me that she was hoping to stay in her bed during the entire day tomorrow! It was fun to chat with her."

In contrary to Anja, Janica has already decided to compete in Sunday's downhill race here. "It's a demanding course and there are a lot of skiers who can aim to reach the podium," she explained. "I'll of course try my best as usual and then we shall see what can happen. I'm really happy each time I can compete in a speed event. It's an exciting specialty - even if anything can happen on race day."

Janica also explained to the journalists that she wrote again the name of her brother on her fingernails to share her day with her. "Ivica and I are very close and even if he is not next to me, he is with me in my heart!"

During the post-race press conference, Janica mentioned again her great disappointment from Zagreb where she failed to end her first run. "Everybody is trying to help me forgetting this sad moment. It was very difficult for me because the race meant a lot to me. So many people help to put this race on the map and so many spectators came to the slope to watch me."

"This medal can't make me forget what took place that evening. It's totally different for me, the two things are totally separate in my mind."

After this fabulous competition, the 2005 Worlds really start for Janica who will fight for more success in the next ten days.

Patrick Lang
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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