Final women’s training run: Perfect conditions, Mendes qualified


Final women’s training run: Perfect conditions, Mendes qualified{mosimage}Women’s head speed coach, Alex Hoedlmoser called the conditions for the women’s third and final training run, ‘absolutely perfect.’ With the Deborah Compagnoni track getting harder and faster every run, winner of the super G race, Anja Paerson from Sweden tied France’s Ingrid Jacquemod for the fastest time of the day with a 1.42.65.

Janica Kostelic from Croatia, a favorite to medal in any of the remaining events, skipped the super G, but proved she’s ready for the downhill by posting the third fastest time.

Americans Jonna Mendes and Caroline Lalive were a few tenths back in fourth and fifth. This was particularly good new for Mendes. She was fighting for the final spot on the U.S. downhill team with her teammate Bryna McCarty with the final training run to determine the outcome.

‘It was pretty obvious today, who will be racing’ said Hoedlmoser. ‘Jonna had a really, really good run. She did some things I haven’t seen all winter from her.’

McCarty finished 22nd, nearly two seconds behind Mendes. ‘Bryna didn’t do a bad job’ said Hoedlmoser, ‘but Jonna was just flying.’

Hoedlmoser was also excited to see Lalive only 0.35 seconds off the fastest time. ‘She had the worst wind and she’s still right up there’ said Hoedlmoser. ‘She’s skiing really, really well.’

Lindsey Kildow, one of the pre-race favorites finished in 17th, but since the results of the final training run will be used to determine the start order for the race, this was part of the plan. ‘It was just a training run for Lindsey’ said Hoedlmoser. ‘She didn’t have her fastest skis on and she stood up before the finish. We think it is better for her not to start all the way back (25-30); there’ll be that much less pressure. Actually the snow is so perfect, it doesn’t matter where you start.’

Leader in the World Cup standings, Renate Goetschl missed a gate on the upper portion of the course but continued to ski the remainder of the course a violation of FIS rules. Hoedlmoser noted, ‘For sure there’ll be a fine, but she will run after 30.’

U.S. veteran Kirsten Clark opted out of the final run to rest and to try to rid herself of ‘a bit of the flu.’

With the combined event taking place tomorrow (Friday) and the downhill race scheduled for Sunday, Hoedlmoser said, ‘Our girls are ready, they just have to execute.’

Skiing in the combined for the U.S. Team will be: Lindsey Kildow, Julia Mancuso, Caroline Lalive, and Resi Stiegler. Stiegler, who has focused primarily on slalom this winter is making steady gains on the downhill track. A good run today in the final training run, prompted her to quip, ‘I felt like a real speed skier today.’

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