Tanja Poutiainen wins Altenmarkt slalom; two Americans in top 10Tanja Poutiainen of Finland won the women’s slalom today in Altenmarkt, Austria, regaining the overall World Cup lead. Poutiainen, who also leads the slalom World Cup standings, completed the Kaelberloch course in a combined time of 1 minute, 39.88 seconds, edging out Austria’s Marlies Schild by just 0.03 seconds.
Croatia’s Janica Kostelic was third in 1:40.53, followed by Anja Paerson of Sweden (1:40.94). Two Americans were in the top 10 at the Austrian ski area, just up the road from the Atomic ski factory.
The 24-year-old Poutiainen celebrated her second straight slalom win, following a third and a first place in the double-header slaloms in Aspen at the end of November. It was the fifth top-three finish for Poutiainen this season.
“Everything is easy going. Thanks to my recent success, I have a lot of self-confidence and I can trust my skill,” the Finn said.
Slalom specialist Schild set the fastest time in the second run to record her first podium finish this season. “The pressure on me was enormous after the disappointing slaloms in America. However, I decided to attack fully regardless,” said Schild, who crashed in both slaloms in Aspen.
Schild said she was not annoyed having lost by such a narrow margin. “I am happy about my result, particularly looking at my physical condition,” said the Austrian, who had only slept for a couple of hours the night before because of an upset stomach.
While Poutiainen and Schild were happy with their rankings, Kostelic, who trailed the winner by 0.65 seconds, appeared disappointed. The Croat, who prefers to ski in icy conditions, lashed out at the slope saying: “The piste was too easy. Too easy for everyone.”
Kostelic, who is Poutiainen’s biggest challenger — together with last year’s dominant slalom skier Paerson –said slalom was the discipline “I hate most, although it’s the discipline I am best at.”
Paerson briefly moved to the top of the overall standings on Saturday after finishing better than Poutiainen in the super G event. But Poutiainen’s victory on Sunday allowed her to wrest back the lead. The Finn has 441 points, compared to Paerson’s 393, with Kostelic third on 383. -The Associated Press
Dec. 12, 2004
1. Tanja Poutiainen, FIN 1:39.88
2. Marlies Schild, AUT 1:39.91
3. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:40.53
4. Anja Paerson, SWE 1:40.94
5. Elisabeth Goergl, AUT 1:41.22
6. Sabine Egger, AUT 1:41.73
7. Sarah Schleper, USA 1:41.76
8. Monika Bergmann-Schmuderer, GER 1:41.98
9. Nika Fleiss, CRO 1:42.11
10. Kristina Koznick, USA 1:42.19
11. Christel Pascal, FRA 1:42.26
12. Resi Stiegler, USA 1:42.32
13. Annemarie Gerg, GER 1:42.42
14. Sarka Zahrobska, CZE 1:42.59
15. Annalisa Ceresa, ITA 1:42.64
16. Michaela Kirchgasser, AUT 1:42.72
17. Henna Raita, FIN 1:42.76
18. Laura Pequegnot, FRA 1:42.77
19. Sonja Nef, SUI 1:42.80
20. Veronika Zuzulova, SVK 1:42.90
21. Line Viken, NOR 1:43.09
22. Florine DeLeymarie, FRA 1:43.22
23. Manuela Moelgg, ITA 1:43.28
24. Karin Truppe, AUT 1:43.42
25. Lisa Bremseth, NOR 1:43.62
26. Martina Ertl, GER 1:43.73
27. Anna Ottosson, SWE 1:43.94
no other North Americans.
By Hank McKee
Women’s slalom, Altenmarkt, Austria, Dec. 12, 2004 Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Poutiainen, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
2 Schild, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
3 Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Paerson, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
5 Goergl, Blizzard/Lange/Marker
6 Egger, Head/Lange/Tyrolia
7 Schleper, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Bergmann-Schmuderer, Head/Rexxam/Marker
9 Fleiss, Dynamic/Salomon/Salomon
10 Koznick, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
Women’s Slalom, Altenmarkt, Austria, 12/12/2004 – It is the ninth race of the women’s 32 race World Cup schedule (plus one combined). … It is the third of eight scheduled slaloms. … 12 different nations scored in the race. … Fourth place was a full second out. … eighth place two seconds. … 20th three seconds.
It is the fourth career win for Tanja Poutiainen. … The third this season. … She has recorded three wins and two additional podiums in her six starts this season. … She has scored in eight of nine races held. … She is the only woman to win more than one race so far this season.
It is the eighth career podium for Marlies Schild. … all in slalom. … It is her first podium of the season in three scoring results, each in different disciplines. … She was fourth at Aspen GS 11/26.
It is the 32nd career podium result for Janica Kostelic, … her 23rd in slalom. … It is her third podium of the season, the other two coming back-to-back in Aspen. …
Anja Paerson stays in the thick of the standings race with a fourth place finish.
It is the 28th career top 10 for Sarah Schleper. … Her first of the season. … She has placed in all three slaloms held so far. … It is the 48th career top 10 for Kristina Koznick. … Her fourth of the season. … It is the third best result of Resi Stiegler’s career. … Her best result among three this season.
The last slalom at Altenmarkt was 1/9/1994 and was won by Vreni Schneider. … She also won the Altenmarkt SL in ’88.
Poutiainen leads the women’s World Cup overall standings 441-393 for Anja Paerson. … Lindsey Kildow (did not race) is the top ranked U.S. woman in seventh at 225. … Koznick is eighth at 183. … Poutiainen has a 100 point lead in the slalom standings 260-160 for Kostelic. … Koznick is fourth at 126. … Austrian women lead the Nations Cup 1397 to 936 for the U.S. … Combining genders Austria leads 3465 to 1951 for the U.S.