Hoefl-Riesch trumps Maze in world super-combined
Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch fell back on all her slalom expertise to snatch victory from Slovenian Tina Maze in the women's super-combined event at the World Ski Championships on Friday.
- Published: 8/02/2013 at 09:44 PM
- Newspaper section: news
Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch celebrates after winning the women's super-combined slalom event of the 2013 World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria on February 8, 2013. Hoefl-Riesch won the women's super-combined event on Friday.
Hoefl-Riesch, also reigning Olympic champion in the event, was in fourth position after the opening downhill run.
But she quickly made up the 0.20sec deficit and turned on the afterburners down the Streicher course in the slalom, clocking an aggregate of 2min 39.92sec.
Maze, who had held the joint lead after the downhill with Austrian pin-up Anna Fenninger, took silver at 0.46sec to go with the gold she won in Tuesday's super-G.
Austrian Nicole Hosp pulled off the fastest slalom run to make up 1.32sec lost in the downhill to claim an impressive bronze, 1sec off Hoefl-Riesch's pace.
"I arrived here hoping for a medal, no matter what colour," said Hoefl-Riesch.
"I've been lacking confidence this winter. I wasn't favourite coming here and I didn't really feel comfortable in today's slalom.
"Knowing Tina's form, I said to myself, 'Okay, second place is already a very good result'. Now I am extremely happy."
Maze said she had battled with a bad attack of the nerves, insisting she was content with her silver.
"It's a great feeling. Being here able to get a medal in every event so far is something amazing," the 29-year-old said.
"But I still have some motivation for the upcoming races."
There was, however, drama for defending world champion Fenninger, the darling of the Austrian media with male teammate Marcel Hirscher.
Exploding out of the start hut, the 23-year-old failed to make one gate high up the course and skied out, to groans from the massive crowd gathered at the finish area.
"I wanted to take risks but it can happen that you straddle a gate," Fenninger acknowledged.
"It can also happen if I don't take any risks. Straddling is just a timing problem, it's hard to navigate, and even more so if you don't train slalom often."
Austrian Elisabeth Goergl, who finished just five-hundredths of a second behind Fenninger and Maze in the downhill, finished sixth, while Switzerland's Lara Gut straddled a gate in her bid to capitalise on her fourth spot in the downhill.
Goergl's teammates Michaela Kirchgasser and Kathrin Zettel came in fourth and fifth ahead of Italian youngster Sofia Goggia.
US hopes in the absence of Lindsey Vonn, who topped the World Cup super-combined standings over the last three seasons but was ruled out for the season after sustaining a nasty knee injury in the super-G here, rode with Julia Mancuso.
But the bronze medallist in the super-G could only finish eighth at 3.33sec, left ruing a costly error in her downhill when she almost took a tumble high up the course, doing well to correct herself and make the gate as her skis split.
"After the big mistake, there was no pressure," Mancuso said. "For me, I just went and skied the best slalom I could.
"Those girls sitting in the top three are incredible slalom skiers. I'm happy, I made it to the finish clean. The goal is that anything can happen in slalom and you don't know if the best skiers are going to make mistakes.
"But the course is in such good condition, not a lot of mistakes were made."
About the author
- Writer: AFP
- Position: News agency