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24/11/2017 - 23:15
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Ofterschwang (GER), 05.02.2006.
Another historical win for Janica Kostelic
Janica Kostelic overcame flue and fatigue to celebrate another historical triumph today in Bavaria’s Ofterschwang where she won her first slalom of the season thanks to a powerful and impressive second run.

The skier from Zagreb, 3rd in the first run dominated by Sweden’s Anja Paerson, achieved another one of her incredible comebacks in the second run to beat Austria’s Kathrin Zettel by an abyss of 1,33 seconds while Marlies Schild was 3rd at 1,45 seconds.

Paerson, still in the lead by 5/100 of a second at the middle of her second run, straddled a gate afterwards and skied out while attempting to successfully defend her lead.

Two other Croatian skiers also scored points today. Nika Fleiss was 15th and Ana Jelusic 21st in that last World Cup race prior to the Turin Olympics which is another turning point in Kostelic’s amazing career.

The triple Olympic Champion is now the only second skier in the World Cup history to have won races in all five events, including Super-combined, during the same season. In 1991, Austria’s Petra Kronberger achieved that remarkable feat considered as a true “Grand Slam” in skiing.

Last December, Kostelic finally won her first World Cup giant slalom at Spindleruv Mlyn, in the Czech Republic, then a downhill and a Super-G at Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria in January. Later on, she clinched the Super-combined at St Moritz, Switzerland before excelling today in Ofterschwang despite suffering flue for several days.

She finished a far 41st in Saturday’s first giant slalom run before heading back to the hotel to rest and get back some energy. Her staff was not sure in the evening if she would be able to compete in today’s slalom.

Fortunately for her, Kostelic found back part of her power and momentum during her night sleep – enough anyway to seriously challenge the favourites in the first leg before accomplishing another of her dream-runs in the afternoon.

This crucial win allows her to increase her lead in both the Overall and the slalom World Cup standings before the last World Cup races in Norway, Finland and the Finals at Are. She has finished all her recent slalom races on the podium, even at home in Sjleme where she lost a pole and a glow during her second run. She finished 3rd that night – a sweet birthday present she offered herself in front of nearly twenty thousand spectators.

After winning Saturday’s giant slalom along Spain’s Maria Jose Rienda Contreras, Anja Paerson’s delay in the Overall standings was reduced to 161 points – a small margin considering the remaining nine events to be raced in March. In the slalom standings Janica shared the lead until this morning with Austria’s Schild who won three slalom races in a row earlier this season.

Kostelic deserves now her usual pre-Olympic break at the Croatian sea-side where she will relax and get back in shape with her brother Ivica. On Friday, she will fly to Turin to carry the Croatian flag at the Opening Ceremony of her third Winter Olympics.

M.L.
Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
Vip Snow Queen Trophy
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