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21/11/2017 - 09:15
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Downhill, Lenzerheide (SUI), 21.12.2002.
Janica 6th in women's downhill!
It’s with a superb 6th place that Janica Kostelic concluded the downhill in Lenzerheide raced by difficult weather conditions – an amazing performance considering the poor visibility that she had on her way down the course. She only missed her first downhill podium by 15/100 of a second but she beat by more than seven tenths France’s Carole Montillet, the big favorite who started just behind her.

No doubt that the triple Olympic champion would have reached the podium with a lower start-number, as the winners, Austria’s Michaela Dorfmeister, who started in 16th position.

The defending Overall World Cup champion won her first race of the season – and her fifteenth in her career in beating by half a second her teammate Michaela Dorfmeister and by 85/100 America’s Kirsten Clark a winner here in 2001.

Janica, who clocked the second best time in the final training run, started in 29th position when the weather was starting to become quite bad. It was snowing at the start and the skiers had a hard time to see the difficulties of the long Swiss course. The skier from Zagreb obviously took it easy yet she still cruised pretty fast down the “Fis Scalottas” course.

She was satisfied by her result considering the dangerous conditions. “I’m very happy with what I have done because the weather was very bad and the fog everywhere” she said. “I spoke to Carole Montillet and she was really upset. On the 3rd gate you couldn’t see anything, the snow was coming on your goggles . So the whole course I was just going on my back. You had to do it, because you couldn’t see in any direction”. “The important for the moment is to stay healthy. I was thinking about it at the start, and wondering what would be my tactic in the race. Finally, I decided to ski normally, not to attack more. When you don’t see where you are going, it can be really dangerous. For example, it’s important to see the bumps in time so you’re not surprised. I’m still thinking at my back. I didn’t want to be defensive”.

Janica’s goal coming here was to score a maximum of points with a minimum of risks in the downhill and the slalom and to win the combined. So far her she respects her program: her most dangerous rival, Martina Ertl is 25th at 1, 13 behind her. America’s Caroline Lalive is 20th a second behind! Another controlled race in Sunday’s slalom should allow her to increase her lead in the Overall Standings. Renate Goetschl, the winner of both combined last season will not compete in the slalom.

In the slalom, the skier to beat should again be Sweden’s Anja Paerson, the recent winner in Sestriere and Aspen. She didn’t start in the downhill to save some energy before this last race before Christmas. But on soft snow, she may have a hard time to attack as much as she likes to.
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Ivica Kostelic official website
Croatian ski team official website
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