Maze eyes combined skiing gold with Vonn out
- Published: 8/02/2013 at 08:44 AM
- Online news:
After a controversial super-G that saw favourite Lindsey Vonn crash amid dodgy weather, the women go Friday into the super-combined event with Tina Maze a firm favourite to win a second gold.
Slovenia's Tina Maze competes during a Ski World Championships women's downhill training event in Schladming, Austria on February 7, 2013. The women go Friday into the super-combined event with Maze a firm favourite to win a second gold.
The Slovenian firebolt is the defending super-combined silver medallist from the last world championships in Garmisch in 2011 and currently leads the World Cup rankings in the discipline which is decided on the aggregate times from one slalom and one downhill run.
Almost unstoppable on every level this season, the 29-year-old Maze will go into the race buoyed by her super-G gold on Tuesday, which complemented her 2011 giant slalom world title.
The path to gold was additionally cleared by Vonn's crash on Tuesday, which sees the US ski star and media darling out for the season and missing the rest of the world championships with a knee injury.
The 28-year-old Vonn was the only skier who stood between Maze and the top of the combined podium in the last two World Cup seasons.
Having just won the super-G win on Tuesday, the Slovenian already had her sights on more medals.
"I hope (to win) not just one. I know I'm skiing well," said the leader in the overall, super-G and giant slalom World Cup rankings.
Maze's closest competitors could be Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany and Austria's Nicole Hosp, who have both done well in the few World Cup combined events in recent seasons.
"This is a discipline that was made for me. But first you need two decent runs," said Hoefl-Riesch.
The sole World Cup super-combined race so far this winter saw Maze finish first, ahead of Austrians Hosp and Kathrin Zettel in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz.
Reigning world super-combined champion and Austrian pin-up Anna Fenninger will be less of a threat, having admitted to little slalom training this year.
But this was already the case in 2011 when she won gold.
And after going out of the super-G following a mistake that seemed prompted by a moment of distraction after a long day including a three-and-a-half-hour start delay, the 23-year-old will be raring to capture a first medal for ski-obsessed Austria at these world championships on home snow.
The super-combined begins with the downhill race on the 2,757m-long Streicher course at 10:00am (0900GMT).
The slalom, held on a tight parallel course ending in the same finish area, starts at 14:00am.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency