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18/01/2019 - 09:48
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
San Sicario (ITA), 26.02.2005.
Janica Kostelic 2nd in San Sicario
Janica Kostelic reached her second World Cup podium in downhill this season in finishing 2nd in the pre-Olympic race held on the "Fraiteve-Olympic" run in San Sicario. Only Sweden's Anja Paerson, winner in Friday's Super-G was faster than her - by 24/100 of a second.

Germany's Hilde Gerg was 3rd ahead of Michaela Dorfmeister while Renate Goetschl, another favourite for the Overall crown prior this weekend, was only 8th.

Before Sunday's crucial combined event, Paerson leads the Overall standings with an advance of 83 points on Kostelic while Dorfmeister is 3rd - 112 points behind the Croatian champion.

Janica who started in 22nd position, had to wait for almost half an hour before finding out if she would win or not her first World Cup downhill since Anja started in 34th place. "It was an exciting race, I skied pretty well, and I was quite nervous while I waited at the finish area," said the triple World Champion from Santa Caterina.

"I achieved a good run, but Anja an even better one, but that's fine, I expected her to fight hard today after winning the Super-G yesterday," she added. "I'm really pleased by my downhill season, it was my goal to improve my level in the speed events and I reached more than I thought. I feel more comfortable right now in downhill than in giant slalom."

Interestingly enough, Janica scored more points this season in downhill that in any other specialty - 337, 17 more than in slalom, and 157 more than in giant slalom, her weakest discipline this winter. The downhill World Champion reached the best 10 in the last five World Cup downhills, which allows her to be in 5th place in the downhill standings, only 130 points behind the leader, her friend Renate Goetschl.

On the other hand, she is 73 points ahead of the 2002 Olympic Champion, Carole Montillet-Carles from France!

"I'll try hard to beat her in the combined tomorrow but I don't know how this new combined will turn out for me," she also said. "There is only one slalom run and I often don't ski so well in first slalom runs. So it will be important to be very fast in the downhill part. But I'm having a great time, I think we will battle for the Overall title until the last race in Lenzerheide and this is fun too."

"I'm happy for Anja that she managed to win races in four events so quickly - she did a great job. I'll try my best to achieve the same performance in the coming years. It's definitely a major goal yet the most important for me is still to have fun skiing and to enjoy the competition. Anja and I are having a great time, we fight hard to beat the other one when we compete but we are good friends before and after the races. This rivalry makes everything more interesting for us and the women's tour."

Both champions should again fight for victory in Sunday's combined as they did in Santa Caterina. Also fighting for a spot on the podium are Austria's Marlies Schild, 3rd in Santa Caterina, USA's Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Kildow and Germany's Martina Ertl. The winner of this combined could well be the recipient of the Overall World Cup crown in Lenzerheide in two weeks.

Patrick Lang
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
Vip Snow Queen Trophy - Hrvatski ski/board magazin

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