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Hoefl-Riesch back on top, takes World Champs super combined


SCHLADMING, Austria — While she hasn’t been on the podium since November, Maria Hoefl-Riesch reminded the world that she’s still one of the best all-around skiers on the circuit, winning the World Championships super combined in Schladming, Austria Friday.

Finishing nearly a half-second back, Tina Maze was her closest competition. In the morning’s downhill run, the Slovenian shared the fastest time with local favorite Anna Fenninger. Maze had a strong slalom performance as well, but just couldn’t keep pace with Hoefl-Riesch on the lower half of the slalom course, which the German smoked.

“It was a difficult slalom. The hill was not so easy, and I didn’t feel perfect,” said Hoefl-Riesch. “I was pretty sure that it would not be possible to win gold because Tina was so strong the whole season, especially in slalom she was always getting better and better, and I didn’t finish the last two.

“The upper section [of the slalom], I felt that I was a little too conservative. The light was flat and the snow was not totally smooth. There were ruts, and in the past, I have had problems with such conditions. I just tried to have a round line and not be too straight in the gates.”

Collecting the bronze, Nicole Hosp finally delivered a medal for the Austrian fans. It was her first time on the World Championship podium since 2007 and first time since a 2010 ACL tear slowed her down for a couple years.

“It was like [it was] in the past for me,” said Hosp. “I made a mistake in a little part and lost a lot of time, but I had a good starting position and not that much of a time delay. … It was really hard because no medals in two races for Austria. The whole nation was looking on these races. Everybody wants to get medals and it was really hard for me to get one today.”

For Hoefl-Riesch, it was just her second World Championship gold. The other came in slalom in slalom in 2009.

Julia Mancuso was the leading lady for the American representation, which is made up almost entirely of non-slalom skiers. Mancuso was the only one of them with a slalom start this season, and she was pleasantly surprised to actually excel in that portion of today’s race.

In fact, if Mancuso had had a mistake-free downhill run, she might have made a run at the podium. She was 19th in the morning, 8th on the day.

“It was a good slalom run there. It wasn’t bad. No pressure,” said Mancuso. “I guess I needed to be two seconds faster in the downhill if I was going to be competing for a medal, but that was kind of my mistake today. … The course is much better now. There’s not as much snow and it’s harder, so it suits me. Those girls are going so hard at these World Championships, so you really have to put everything on the line.”

First-run co-leader Anna Fenninger looked nervous from the moment she kicked out of the slalom start. She didn’t make it 10 or 15 gates before an ugly straddle knocked her out of the course.

Story by Geoff Mintz
Photos by GEPA

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Women’s World Championship combined, Schladming, Austria, Feb. 8, 2013
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
2 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
3 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
4 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
7 Goggia, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
9 Hector, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker

Women’s World Championship combined, Schladming, Austria, Feb. 8, 2013. … It is the third medal event of 10 (plus a team event) scheduled for the championships, the second for women. … It is the 72nd World Championship combined, the 36th for women. … It is the ninth individual World Championship event held at Schladming which also hosted the men’s races in 1982. … Anna Fenninger is the defending champion.

It is the second World Championship and the fourth World Championship medal for Maria Hoefl-Riesch, her first in combined. … She also owns two Olympic golds, one in combined and one in slalom and both from Whistler (2010). … It is her second win of the season after the Levi slalom Nov. 10. … She has one other podium finish this season, a third in downhill at Lake Louise Nov. 30. … Four of her 24 World Cup wins have come in combined.

It is the fifth World Championship medal for Tina Maze, her second of these championships having gained gold in super G. It is her third Worlds silver and second silver in combined, the previous coming at Garmisch (2011). … She also owns two Olympic silver medals, both from Whistler, one in super G and one in GS. … It is her 19th podium of the season.

It is the fifth World Championship medal for Nicole Hosp (plus a team medal in 2005). … It is her second in combined having also won silver at St Moritz (2003). … she also owns an Olympic silver medal in slalom from Sestriere (2006). … It is her second podium result of the season after a second in combined at St Moritz Dec. 7.

It is the 14th career World Championship top 10 for Julia Mancuso (plus a team fourth place finish). … and second of these championships. … It is her fourth best of five championship combined finishes. … It is her 13th top 10 of the season. … It is the second best of five World Championship results for Laurenne Ross and her career best in combined. … She matches her second best finish of the season following a fifth in DH at St Anton Jan. 12. … It is the fourth best of six World Championship results for Stacey Cook. … and her fifth best finish of the season.

Medal count
SLO – 2 (gold, silver)
USA – 2 (gold, bronze)
GER – 1 (gold)
FRA – 1 (silver)
SUI – 1 (silver)
AUT – 1 (bronze)
NOR – 1 (bronze)

Results
Schladming (AUT)
Combined Disciplines
Ladies’ Downhill

Rank   Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time
 1 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   1:49.87  50.05  2:39.92
 2 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   1:49.67  50.71  2:40.38
 3 HOSP Nicole  1983  AUT   1:50.99  49.93  2:40.92
 4 KIRCHGASSER Michaela  1985  AUT   1:51.36  50.20  2:41.56
 5 ZETTEL Kathrin  1986  AUT   1:51.28  50.43  2:41.71
 6 GOERGL Elisabeth  1981  AUT   1:49.72  52.52  2:42.24
 7 GOGGIA Sofia  1992  ITA   1:50.07  52.62  2:42.69
 8 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA   1:51.60  51.65  2:43.25
 9 HECTOR Sara  1992  SWE   1:52.20  51.39  2:43.59
 10 GISIN Dominique  1985  SUI   1:51.09  52.51  2:43.60
 11 ROSS Laurenne  1988  USA   1:51.28  52.60  2:43.88
 12 HRONEK Veronique  1991  GER   1:51.69  52.20  2:43.89
 13 CURTONI Elena  1991  ITA   1:51.67  52.53  2:44.20
 14 KAUFMANN-ABDERHALDEN Marianne  1986  SUI   1:51.44  53.26  2:44.70
 15 FANCHINI Elena  1985  ITA   1:50.87  54.19  2:45.06
 16 BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA   1:53.57  52.06  2:45.63
 17 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild  1992  NOR   1:53.17  52.59  2:45.76
 18 COOK Stacey  1984  USA   1:51.29  55.41  2:46.70
 19 MIKLOS Edit  1988  HUN   1:51.82  55.36  2:47.18
 20 BRODNIK Vanja  1989  SLO   1:53.24  54.43  2:47.67
 21 YAKOVISHINA Elena  1992  RUS   1:53.65  54.59  2:48.24
 22 GANTNEROVA Jana  1989  SVK   1:56.11  52.47  2:48.58
 23 PROKOPYEVA Aleksandra  1994  RUS   1:55.24  54.58  2:49.82
 24 KEDRINA Anastasia  1992  RUS   1:54.10  56.82  2:50.92
 25 SMALL Greta  1995  AUS   1:56.62  54.78  2:51.40
 26 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena  1984  ARG   1:57.79  54.39  2:52.18
 27 CHRAPEK Karolina  1990  POL   1:55.40  56.91  2:52.31
 28 BEDAREVA Maria  1992  RUS   1:54.70  58.18  2:52.88
 29 VAN BUYNDER Isabel  1991  BEL   1:57.43  55.91  2:53.34
 30 SHKANOVA Maria  1989  BLR   1:58.59  56.05  2:54.64
 31 KOMSIC Andrea  1996  CRO   1:59.22  55.85  2:55.07
 32 MATSOTSKA Bogdana  1989  UKR   1:59.56  57.44  2:57.00
Did not start 2nd run
  KAMER Nadja  1986  SUI       
  MERIGHETTI Daniela  1981  ITA       
  SMITH Leanne  1987  USA       
  WEIRATHER Tina  1989  LIE       
Did not start 1st run
  KIRKOVA Maria  1986  BUL       
Did not finish 2nd run
  SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen  1982  ARG       
  GUTIERREZ Mireia  1988  AND       
  COLETTI Alexandra  1983  MON       
  STUHEC Ilka  1990  SLO       
  KRIZOVA Klara  1989  CZE       
  YURKIW Larisa  1988  CAN       
  GUT Lara  1991  SUI       
  FENNINGER Anna  1989  AUT       
  SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR       
Did not finish 1st run
  GASIENICA DANIEL Agnieszka  1987  POL       

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