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25/11/2017 - 10:44
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Aspen (USA), 12.12.2005.
First slalom podium for Janica Kostelic in Aspen
Janica Kosteli reached her second podium of the season in Aspen where she came in 2nd , only 3/100 of a second behind her arch-rival Anja Paerson. Kostelic, who won 17 World Cup slalom races in her career and finished ten times 2nd or 3rd, certainly expected more from herself after the first run which she was clearly leading.

In fact, she was over a second faster than Paerson in the morning, but the Swede took all risks in the afternoon and beat her by 1,06 seconds in the second run!
The 23-year-old Olympic and World Slalom champion squandered her advantage with an unusually cautious second run that left her shaking her head. Paerson arrived in Aspen sitting well back in 15th place in the overall standings but after her big weekend has vaulted up into second.
Two other Croatian skiers made it into the points – Ana Jelusic was 10th and Nika Fleiss 20th – not as good as a year ago yet.

Back on the podium

“I feel stupid, she was one second behind, that is huge in skiing and I can only blame myself,” said Kostelic to the press. “But I'm on the podium and that is okay."
“It’s always a great thing to be among the top-3. It feels good to be second but I know I could have skied faster in the second run. I just didn’t attack in that run. I can’t blame anybody but me. I skied with reserves, I don’t know for which reason. It was not the type of course for me, it’s really easy. I’m not like the other girls, they attack when the race is easy, and they don’t ski when the course is demanding.”

“I learned something today. As it’s the case almost every day. Today’s lesson was that I don’t want to make the same mistake and break during my run when I’m one second ahead. I definitely lost my race at this point.”

“I’m not jealous of Anja for her victory, she fought very hard against me, and she deserves it. But she’s not the only one who races; I have to compete against 50 other girls… ”

Janica looks forward for Val d’Isère

“My races in North-America were average. I’m not satisfied with the speed events. Hopefully it will be better in Europe. Actually, I can wait to be back there to race. I don’t have a preferred place, of course there‘s the slalom in Zagreb but I’ll be there next year too. So that’s not a big deal. I love Val d’Isère which is the next stop on the tour. I’m really looking forward to ski there.”

“I don’t think at the bad result. I let everything behind me. I always know that it will come back one day. It doesn’t change my vision of the future. I take the races one by one. And above all I don’t want to think at the Olympic Games. That’s in February, it’s too far for me. I want to stay concentrate on what I do now. I have time for all the rest…”

Paerson and Kosteli, the winners of four of the last five overall World Cup titles between them, had finally got the new campaign off to a sputtering start but renewed their rivalry at this ritzy Colorado resort, setting the stage for what could be another thrilling season-long battle.

In a few days, Janica and the rest of the World Cup travellers move to Val d’Isère where the next races are scheduled this weekend. The downhill is planned for Saturday.

Manuèle Lang
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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