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Maribor: Marlies Schild wins third straight slalom; Kristina Koznick fourth

Maribor: Marlies Schild wins third straight slalom; Kristina Koznick fourth{mosimage}MARIBOR, Slovenia – Austria’s Marlies Schild won her third straight World Cup slalom Sunday, with Kristina Koznick fourth and Lindsey Kildow ninth in a good day for U.S. skiers.

Schild won a crash-filled race in 1 minute, 48.34 seconds for her seventh career victory and a share of the slalom standings lead with Janica Kostelic of Croatia.

“It’s a good experience to win three races in a row, but it’s a long time to the Olympics,” Schild said, referring to next month’s Torino Games. “I hope to keep up my form for then.”

Kostelic, racing with a swollen hand, was 0.58 seconds behind in second while Therese Borssen of Sweden was third in 1:49.03.

Ten skiers crashed or slid out on the second run alone, a day after the soft snow was ruled too dangerous for a giant slalom.

One was Kathrin Zettel, the first-run leader who skidded out at the top of the slope. The 19-year-old Austrian — touted by Kostelic as a slalom force one day — was aiming for her first victory.

“I’m very sorry for Kathrin, I know how she must feel,” Schild said. “The second run was very difficult. I was very tentative.”

Koznick matched her best result of the season with fourth in 1:48.91. Kildow had her best slalom showing with 1:50.76 for ninth.

Kostelic and Schild have 360 points in the slalom standings, although Kostelic extended her lead over Anja Paerson in the overall standings. The Swede missed a gate after a mistake at the top of the slope.

Kostelic moved up from eighth on the first run by posting the best time on the second run – 55.86 seconds.

“At this moment, I’m not really happy with my skiing,” she said. “Hopefully, I’m feeling better at the Olympics. I’m tired of starting seventh or eighth, then having to attack.”

Kildow, the downhill standings leader, has finished in the top 15 in six of her last seven slaloms. Until an 11th-place finish last year at Maribor, she had finished or reached the second run of just two races.

“It’s sweet,” Kildow said. “I’ve changed my equipment. I’m not surprised because I grew up skiing slalom. I just fell off the map for a while because of the speed races. It’s always good to add another disciple you can do well at.”

-The Associated Press

Women’s slalom
Maribor, Slovenia
Jan. 8, 2006

1. Marlies Schild, AUT 1:48.34
2. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:48.91
3. Therese Borsson, SWE 1:49.03
4. Kristina Koznick, USA 1:49.52
5. Nicole Hosp, AUT 1:49.66
6. Martina Ertl-Renz, GER 1:50.09
7. Laure Pequegnot, FRA 1:50.21
8. Marie Pietilae-Holmner, SWE 1:50.52
9. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:50.76
10. Michaela Kirchagasser, AUT 1:50.79
11. Nika Fleiss, CRO 1:50.93
12. Anja Blieninger, GER 1:51.01
13. Sarka Zahrobska, CZE 1:51.11
14. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:51.35
15. Elisabeth Goergl, AUT 1:51.42
16. Anna Ottosson, SWE 1:51.59
17. Monika Bergmann-Schmuderer, GER 1:52.00
18. Anne Marie Mueller, NOR 1:52.23
19. Ana Jelusic, CRO 1:53.84
20. Resi Stiegler, USA 2:17.26
Other North Americans:
DNQ 2nd: Kaylin Richardson, Lauren Ross, Jenny Lathrop, Jessica Kelley, USA; Brigitte Acton, Britt Janyk, CAN.
DNF 1st: Sarah Schleper, USA.

By Hank McKee

Women’s Slalom, Maribor, Jan. 8, 2006
Skier, skis/boots/bindings 1. Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 2. Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 3. Borsson, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 4. Koznick, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker 5. Hosp, Volkl/Fischer/Marker 6. Ertl-Renz, Rossignol/Nordica/Rossignol 7. Pequegnot, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 8. Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 9. Kildow, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 10. Kirchagasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

Women’s slalom, Maribor, Slovenia, Jan. 8, 2006. … It is the 15th race of the women’s 34 race, two combined World Cup schedule. … It is the fifth of nine scheduled slaloms. … It is the second of two scheduled at Maribor, but the first held due to cancellation. … It is the 54th race held at Maribor.

It is the seventh career win for Marlies Schild. … Her sixth in slalom. … Her third (all slalom) win of the season. … Her third straight slalom win. … She was second in the 2004 slalom at Maribor, and seventh last season.

It is the 45th career podium for Janica Kostelic. … Her 31st in slalom. … Her seventh of the season. … Her fifth in five slaloms held. … She has never won at Maribor, but been second three times, each of those since 2003.

It is the first career podium for Therese Borsson. … She is 21 from Ratviks. … It is her second scoring finish of the season, the first a ninth at Zagreb Jan. 5.

It is the 10th time Kristina Koznick has finished fourth in a World Cup race, ninth time in slalom. … Second time in slalom this season. … She has been in the top 10 of four of five slaloms held. … It is the 26th career top 10 for Lindsey Kildow. … Her third in slalom. … She has scored in 12 of the 15 races held, been top 10 in eight. … It is the 12th scoring result of the season for Julia Mancuso. … It is her fourth-best career slalom result, third-best of the season. … Resi Stiegler was the final race finisher but scored no points as she was too far behind in time.

There are just 20 finishers as 10 fail to finish the second run and another is disqualified (missed gate). … Winning margin is .57 of a second. … The top three finishers are within a second of the win. … Top seven within two seconds. … Janica Kostelic maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 732-585 over Anja Paerson (a first-run DNF). … Michaela Dorfmeister (did not race) and Schild are tied for third at 510. … Lindsey Kildow is the top American in fifth at 478. … Kostelic and Schild are deadlocked for the slalom lead at 360 points. … Nicole Hosp is third at 247. … Koznick is the top American on the slalom list in sixth at 180 points.

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