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25/11/2017 - 06:43
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Zagreb / Sljeme (CRO), 05.01.2006.
Fantastic 3rd place for Janica Kostelic at Sljeme
Janica Kostelic achieved one of her most extraordinary performances this evening in finishing 3rd in the demanding slalom race organized on the slopes of Sljeme outside of Zagreb. The triple Olympic Champion, who clocked the 7th time in the first run, captured her fourth consecutive podium in slalom despite losing her right pole just after starting her second run.

Austria's Marlies Schild won her second slalom in a row in front of her team-mate Kathrin Zettel. Nicole Hosp was 4th and Anja Paerson 5th.

Attacking as hard as she could, Janica was carried down the course by an enthusiastic crowd of over twenty thousand spectators which helped her to forget the strong pain she was feeling at her right hand that she hurt in hitting the slalom
gates on her way down to the finish line.

She showed great courage in smiling during the price ceremony and she thanked her fans for their great support.


"I don't believe that my hand is broken, but I can tell that I have a problem with my fingers," she said afterwards. "We'll see after the second x-ray that I'll have at the hospital in Zagreb. We'll have to find a solution in any cases because I want to be able to race."



A stupid mistake.
"It was a stupid mistake. It happens on a flat part. There was a small piece of ice and I pushed on my pool on it. It was slippery and I lost everything. It never happened to me in the World Cup. The only time I had such an experience, was when I
was racing in the Topolino races but I didn't finish the race that time. I was so shocked that I wanted to give up the race."

"It hurt so much that I was screaming while I was skiing down. After a while I had to use my elbow to push the gates because I couldn't use my hand anymore. I tried to change the places in moving my hand so the same spot was not hit all the time. I had 35 hits in total. That's why I couldn't do the small gymnastic show in the finish area as we are now used to do, I wanted to make a star, but there was no way that I could do something with my hand."

"After my terrible first run, I took some time to think and I decided that I had to do something about it," Janica also said. "I was really ashamed and I can't explain what happened. I thought that there were no ways to joke anymore and that I had to be completely serious. I badly wanted this podium. So many people came here to see me, and all the workers had made such an amazing job in working nights and days, I had to cross the finish line. I raced for them today. I would have finished this slalom on all costs. I wanted to give them back what they gave to me."

"Zagreb is the best race in the world, because the people have a great heart here."

Thanks to this impressive result, Janica keeps her lead in the slalom and the Overall World Cup standings. In slalom she has now a lead of 20 points on Schild and 77 on Paerson in the Overall.

The next women's races are scheduled this weekend in Maribor where a giant slalom and a slalom are planned on Saturday and Sunday. Janica's never won a race at the Slovenian "Classic". She was twice 2nd in slalom.

M.L.
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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