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21/11/2017 - 14:39
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Santa Caterina (ITA), 06.02.2005.
Historic triumph for Janica Kostelic
Janica Kostelic celebrated an historic victory today in Santa Caterina's World downhill after beating by 26/100 of a second Italy surprising Elena Facchini while her friend Renate Goetschl was 3rd at 39/100.

The skier from Zagreb became the first women to clinch gold medals at Olympics and World Championships in four different specialties - downhill, slalom, giant slalom and combined. She has enough time to win her last title missing - in Super-G - in the coming winters.

With a total of seven gold medals won since 2002 in Salt Lake City, St Moritz and Bormio/ Santa Caterina, she also became the most successful women in the history of modern ski racing, joining Austria's ski legend Toni Sailer at the top. Skiers as Vreni Schneider, Pernilla Wiberg or Marielle Goitschel won six gold medals during their outstanding career. Schneider amassed an impressive collection of eleven medals of various metals in her best years!

Janica seemed amazed when she saw that she took the lead after crossing the finish line. "I didn't believe it was possible to beat Fanchini's time, she did a great job, and at the start I told myself I rather go home because there was no way in my mind to be faster than her," Janica explained

"But I remained relaxed and I just gave my best. When I compete, especially at major events, I don't think to much about winning, but more about skiing at my best and have fun."

"It has been my dream for many years to win a downhill and I guess I choose the perfect place to do it. This is a very challenging course, and I kept on improving in downhill this season. I was twice among the top-10 here then I did so well in Cortina d'Ampezzo. I felt confident after winning the combined downhill, but you never know what can happen on race day. It's wonderful to win, but any medal would have been nice if I felt happy with my run."

"I don't know now about the coming week. To be honest, I don't care anymore, I have already won two great medals. The combined victory was nice because I had to fight hard to get it in the slalom. This is of course incredible and I'm overwhelmed with my achievement. It means so much for me."

Janica, who started in 25th position, had a tough time at the finish line while waiting on her rivals. Some of them as Anja Paerson, 7th at the end, or Renate Goetschl, 3rd, or Ingrid Jacquemod, were faster. "I could just hope that they would do some mistakes," she said. "I skied the final part really well. The snow was perfect and I really enjoy skiing ski fast. Downhill is a very special event to me. I got bored with slalom, I just like the speed and the thrills from the downhill."

Toni Sailer, who won seven gold medals in 1956 (Cortina d'Ampezzo) and 1958 (Badgastein) was also impressed. "Obviously, Janica is enjoying a lot what she is doing, she has fun and that's the most important," he said. "She has done a wonderful job not only by winning all these medals but also in fighting back hard after her injuries. She is amazing," he added.

Patrick Lang
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
Vip Snow Queen Trophy
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