Anja Paerson wins San Sicario downhill, making multi-discipline historyTweet
Anja Paerson wins San Sicario downhill, making multi-discipline historyAnja Paerson of Sweden won the San Sicario downhill today, joining the small club of ski racers who have won World Cup races in every discipline during a single season.
“This is something I’ve dreamed about all my life,” said Paerson, who had never won a World Cup downhill before today. “Especially coming from Sweden, it is very difficult winning in downhill.”
Paerson said the hardest part of transitioning to speed events after years of tech-event mastery was finding an aerodynamic position. “The tuck was a huge problem for me,” she said. After tinkering with the bend in her ski poles, she finally found a comfortable way to hold onto them while tucking. “It’s amazing how much difference a few millimeters makes.”
Running 34th, Paerson was the last contender to come down the course. She unseated her rival Janica Kostelic, who was 0.24 slower. In third was Hilde Gerg of Germany. The top American in the race, Lindsey Kildow, finished seventh — staying alive, barely, in the hunt for that discipline title.
It was sunny and extremely cold at San Sicario, the 2006 Olympic women’s downhill course. The skiers expressed more respect for the hill as a downhill track, as opposed to the scorn heaped upon the super G after that race yesterday.
Among other Americans, Julia Mancuso was ninth, Jonna Mendes was 15th and Bryna McCarty was 16th. McCarty stumbled out of the start house after being momentarily confused about when she was allowed to kick the wand (she thought she’d left early, and hesitated before realizing she had not). Caroline Lalive was 23rd, Stacey Cook 38th and Kirsten Clark 43rd.
The 2006 Olympic downhill
“This is the first test of this Olympic slope,” said Evelina Christillin, the deputy president of the Turin Organizing Committee. “We are very happy, even if I know that there has been some critics…They said it’s too easy. I don’t think so.”
“It’s not an easy downhill,” insisted Paerson, echoing others in saying that at downhill speed, the terrain is more challenging than it was during super G. “You have to be very careful where you set your edges…This hill is very challenging, and it’s difficult to ski. I understand that the girls want to have a more challenging race, but to me it’s a challenge to stay in your tuck and be small and be fast through the flat sections.”
Michaela Dorfmeister, who was vocal about the super G being “boring” the day before, said the hill is suitable for downhill. “For the downhill, all we girls say it’s okay.”
Jonna Mendes, an American veteran of both the Nagano and Salt Lake City Olympics, characterized the course this way: “I wouldn’t exactly call it a glider’s course…Technical skiers were at the top today. There are some turns, so you can’t blow it.”
Anja Paerson has won in all four disciplines this season, starting with the opening race at Soelden, Austria. The only other woman to win all disciplines in one season is Petra Kronberger of Austria.
Pernilla Wiberg, the great Swedish from the previous decade, won in every discipline, but not in a single year. Earlier this season, American Bode Miller set the record by winning in four disciplines in just 16 days . But he failed to meet win a combined event, as Kronberger did.
“It’s great to be compared to Bode,” said Paerson. “He’s unbelievable with his skis and does things that nobody else can do. It’s true, when I saw him winning in all events I got really excited about it and wondered if someday I could do it.”
San Sicario, Italy
Feb. 26, 2005
1. Anja Paerson, SWE 1:52.86
2. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:53.10
3. Hilde Gerg, GER 1:53.84
4. Michaela Dorfmeister, AUT 1:53.90
5. Emily Brydon, CAN 1:53.96
6. Sylvaine Berthod, SUI 1:54.05
7. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:54.12
8. Renate Goetschl, AUT 1:54.42
9. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:54.44
10. Danilea Ceccarelli, ITA 1:54.68
11. Tina Maze, SLO 1:54.73
12. Marion Rolland, FRA 1:54.93
13. Nadia Styger, SUI 1:54.97
13. Lucia Recchia, ITA 1:54.97
15. Jonna Mendes, USA 1:55.01
16. Bryna McCarty, USA 1:55.08
17. Ingrid Jacquemod, FRA 1:55.11
18. Astrid Vierthaler, AUT 1:55.15
19. Brigitte Obermoser, AUT 1:55.46
20. Magda Mattel, FRA 1:55.47
21. Julie Duvillard, FRA 1:55.74
22. Ella Alpiger, SUI 1:55.75
23. Caroline Lalive, USA 1:55.78
24. Elisabeth Georgl, USA 1:55.82
25. Janette Hargin, SWE 1:55.89
26. Marlies Schild, AUT 1:55.98
27. Carole Montillet-Carles, FRA 1:56.03
28. Kelly Vanderbeek, CAN 1:56.08
29. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten, SUI 1:56.44
30. Katja Wirth, AUT 1:56.51
other North Americans:
38. Stacey Cook, USA 1:57.21
43. Kirsten Clark, USA 1:57.96
44. Kaylin Richardson, USA 1:58.14
46. Sherry Lawrence, CAN 1:58.24
By Hank McKee
Women’s DH, San Sicario, Italy, Feb. 26, 2005 Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Paerson, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Gerg, Volkl/Lange/Marker
4 Dorfmeister, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Brydon, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Berthod, Dynastar/Lange/Look
7 Kildow, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Goetschl, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Mancuso, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol 10 Ceccarelli, Dynastar/Lange/Look
Women’s World Cup downhill, San Sicario, Italy, Feb. 26, 2005. … It is the 28th race of the women’s 32 race, one combined World Cup schedule. … It is the 7th of 8 scheduled DH’s. … The winning margin is .24 of a second. … Only the podium skiers are within the same second. … It is the longest (in terms of time on course) women’s DH in five seasons.
It is the 26th career World Cup win for Anja Paerson. … Her first in DH. … She has now won in each alpine discipline. … She is the eighth athlete and third woman in history (Pernilla Wiberg and Petra Kronberger are the others) to accomplish the feat. … She has won four races this season, one in each discipline. … She also won two gold medals at World Championships (SG & GS).
It is the 36th career World Cup podium for Janica Kostelic. … Her second in DH. … It is her 7th Cup podium of the season, plus 3 gold medals from World Championships (cmb, DH and SL).
It is the 58th career Cup podium for Hilde Gerg. … Her 22nd in DH. … It is her sixth podium of the season, five of them in DH.
It is the third best career Cup result for Emily Brydon and her best result of the season. … It is the best Canadian DH result of the season. … It is the 14th career top 7 for Lindsey Kildow, the 11th top 7 Cup result this season, sixth in DH. … It is the 13th career top 10 for Julia Mancuso. … third in DH. … It is her 9th top 10 of the season. … 2nd in DH. … It is the 25th career top 15 Cup result for Jonna Mendes. … Her second of the season. … 15th matches her seasonal best Cup result. … It is the 6th best career Cup result for Bryna McCarty. … Her third best of the season. … Her second best in two days. … It is the 91st scoring result for Caroline Lalive. … Her 14th this season. … It is the 12th career Cup scoring result for Kelly Vanderbeek. … Her ninth of the season.
Anja Paerson extends her lead in the World Cup overall standings to 1161-1078 over Janica Kostelic. … Michael Dorfmeister (4th in race) is third at 966. … Lindsey Kildow is the top American in 6th at 783. .
.. Julia Mancuso is 10th at 508. … There are four races (1 in each discipline) and one combined remaining on the women’s World Cup schedule. … Renate Goetschl (8th in race) leads the DH standings 467-435 over Hilde Gerg. …Michaela Dorfmeister (4th in race) is third at 392 and Kildow 4th at 382. … Those four skiers remain in mathematical contention for the DH title.