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18/01/2019 - 09:55
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FIS Ski Federation

Croatian Olympic Comittee
Night Slalom, Semmering (AUT), 29.12.2002.
Another win for Janica Kostelic
Croatia's superstar Janica Kostelic has once more dominated her rivals in the fifth World Cup slalom of the season raced Sunday night under floodlight in Austria's Semmering where she beat by 1,11 seconds France's Christel Pascal and by 1,78 seconds Italy's Nicole Gius who reached her first podium in a World Cup race.

Only twenty skiers ended that race which was demanding because of the difficult snow conditions. It was quite warm in this part of Austria near Vienna in the past days but this didn't seem to affect the confidence of the triple Olympic champion who enjoys demanding courses.

It's Janica's fourth victory this season and her seventeenth in total since January 1999. She reinforces her lead in the Overall and the Slalom World Cup standings - and looks more and more invincible this season.

The 20-year-old skier from Zagreb approached the bareer of 1000 points - quite an impressive figure after less than two months of racing. In March 2001 she clinched her first Overall title with a total of 1256 points. If she keeps this pace in the coming weeks, she should easely score more than 2000 points at the end of season.

So far, only Hermann Maier reached this "bareer" in March 2000!

Janica was delighted by her latest success which may help her to take some rest in two weeks. If she scores more "heavy" points next week in Bormio where the competitions planned in Germany's Berchtesgaden will take place, she may decide to skip the speed events scheduled in Innsbruck.

She finished 2nd in Saturday's giant slalom won by Italy's Karen Putzer who didn't race today. Janica dominated her rivals in both runs proving her determination to make the best of the situation. "I didn't ski so well in the first run so I wanted to achieve a better second run that's why I also pushed hard this evening" she said after the prize giving. "I'm having a great end of the year. I'm looking forward for the short break before the next races. We will train in Innerkrems where I will again meet Ivica which is great. We spent new year together there then I'll travel to Bormio. I have never raced in this resort so it's OK to go there even if I was happy when I heard that the races in Berchtesgaden were cancelled".

"It's fun to be so close to the 1000 points but as I always say, the season is still long and I'm not unbeattable. Some skiers were unlucky today but they can return and have a better day next weekend".

It was a good night too for Chistel Pascal who was looking for another podium since finishing 2nd behind Janica in Park City, Utah, in November. The silver medallist from St Anton 2001 clocked the third best time in the first run behind Janica and Austrian young talent Marlies Schild, who finished 6th at the end. Only the Croat was faster than her in the second leg which also eliminated other top-contenders as Finland's Tanja Poutiainen, Germany's Martina Ertl and Switzerland's Sonja Nef.

Nika Fleiss scored again some points in coming in 18th.

The next women's races will take place next weekend in Bormio where a giant slalom and a slalom will be raced on the lower part of the "Stelvio" downhill.

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

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