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Ofterschwang: Kostelic wins last World Cup before Olympics; Kildow 11th

Ofterschwang: Kostelic wins last World Cup before Olympics; Kildow 11th{mosimage}OFTERSCHWANG, Germany (AP) _ Janica Kostelic on Sunday won the final World Cup slalom before the Olympics and became the second woman to win five different disciplines in a season.

It came one day after the triple Olympic champion had missed out on qualifying for the second run of a giant slalom for just the sixth time in her career.

On Sunday, the Croat won her 26th World Cup race in 1 minute, 42.22 seconds, beating Austria’s Kathrin Zettel by 1.33 seconds and Marlies Schild by 1.45. Kostelic’s second run was .98 quicker than her closest rival.

”It was the last race before the Olympics and I wanted to do good,” Kostelic said. ”It was a race like any other.”

Austria’s Petra Kronberger was the first woman to win five different disciplines in a season in 1990-91.

Kostelic fought the flu and a high fever, which made her consider skipping the slalom.

”I’m better, but I’m still pretty weak,” said Kostelic.

Kostelic was third after the first run but hugged the gates all the way down a fast and flat course on her second, picking up time at every split.

The 19-year-old Zettel, who reached her 10th podium this year, said she felt the pressure of matching Kostelic’s second run.

”The news came that she had put down an extreme time,” Zettel said. ”I had a very hard time the second run.”

Anja Paerson, expected to be Kostelic’s main rival at the Turin games which start in five days, didn’t fare as well after she followed the Croat.

The first run leader skidded out about two-thirds down the fast, flat slope after being the only skier close to matching Kostelic’s splits.

Kostelic leads in the overall standings over Paerson, who showed she is also ready for the Olympics during the first two days of racing at the World Cup.

Paerson shared a giant slalom win with Maria Jose Rienda and was second to the Spaniard in another.

Schild had her streak of three straight slalom wins snapped, but said she was happy with her result since there hadn’t been a World Cup slalom in a month.

”I was a little uncertain before the race, but now the confidence is back,” Schild said.

Americans Lindsey Kildow was 11th and Resi Stiegler 13th.

-The Associated Press

Women’s Slalom
Ofterschwang, Germany
Feb. 5, 2006

1. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:42.22
2. Kathrin Zettel, AUT 1:43.55
3. Marlies Schild, AUT 1:43.67
4. Michaela Kirchgasser, AUT 1:43.88
5. Annemarie Gerg, GER 1:44.11
6. Tanja Poutiainen, FIN 1:44.29
7. Anna Ottosson, SWE 1:44.40
8. Laure Pequegnot, FRA 1:44.41
9. Chiara Costazza, ITA 1:44.59
10. Annalisa Ceresa, ITA 1:44.63
11. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:44.77
12. Therese Borssen, SWE 1:44.99
13. Resi Stiegler, USA 1:45.15
14. Sarka Zahrobska, CZE 1:45.18
15. Nika Fleiss, CRO 1:45.41
16. Fanny Chmelar, GER 1:45.43
17. Andrea Fischbacher, AUT 1:45.54
18. Florine DeLeymarie, FRA 1:45.66
19. Sarah Schleper, USA 1:45.77
20. Noriyo Hiroi, JPN 1:46.06
21. Ana Jelusic, CRO 1:46.08
22. Veronika Zuzulova, SVK 1:46.09
23. Monika Bergmann-Schmuderer, GER 1:46.19
24. Henna Raita, FIN 1:47.79
25. Kathrin Hoelzl, GER 1:51.20
Other North Americans:
DNQ 2nd: Anna Goodman, Britt Janyk, Brigitte Acton, CAN; Lauren Ross, Jenni Lathrop, Julia Mancuso, USA.
DNF 1st: Kaylin Richardson, USA


By Hank McKee

Women’s Slalom, Ofterschwang, Feb. 5, 2006
Skier, skis/boots/bindings 1. Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 2. Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 3. Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 4. Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic 5. Gerg, Head/Lange/Marker 6. Poutiainen, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker 7. Ottosson, Dynastar/Lange/Tyrolia 8. Pequegnot, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon 9. Costazza, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 10. Ceresa, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker

Women’s Slalom, Ofterschwang, Germany, Feb. 5, 2006. … It is the final race before the Winter Olympics. … It is the 27th events of the women’s 34 race, two combined World Cup schedule. … It is the sixth of nine women’s slaloms on the schedule. … It is the final race of a three race set at Ofterschwang.

It is the 26th career win for Janica Kostelic. … Her fifth of the season. … It is her 18th slalom win putting her third among women on the all time win list behind Erika Hess (21) and Vreni Schneider (33). … She had been tied with Anja Paerson who failed to finish the second run. … Kostelic has been on the podium in all six slaloms held this season, but this is her first slalom win of the season.

It is the sixth career podium for Kathrin Zettel. … All of them from this season. … It is her third slalom podium and it is her second podium in three days.

It is the 19th career podium for Marlies Schild. … Her sixth of the season. … All but one of her podiums this season and 16 of 19 career have come in slalom.

Eleventh for Lindsey Kildow ties her fourth best career slalom result. … It is her third best slalom result of the season. … Thirteenth for Resi Stiegler ties her eighth best career result. … In the ‘quirk’ department, Stiegler has finished eighth three times,10th twice and 13th five times among her 22 career World Cup scoring results. … It is the fifth time this season she has finished among the top 30 of a World Cup race.

Janica Kostelic extends her lead in the World Cup overall standings to 1328-1121 over Anja Paerson (2nd run DNF). … Michaela Dorfmeister (did not race) is in third at 1062. … Lindsey Kildow is the top American in seventh at 707pts. …Kostelic leads the World Cup slalom standings 460-420 over Marlies Schild with three races remaining. … Kathrin Zettel is third at 310. … Kristina Koznick (did not race) is the top American in eighth at 180pts. … Winning margin is 1.33, the largest of the season in any race. … Only the top five finish within two second of the winning time.

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