Paerson: Kostelic is unstoppable for season's overall title


Paerson: Kostelic is unstoppable for season’s overall title{mosimage}CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy – Defending overall World Cup champion Anja Paerson says there’s no chance of stopping Janica Kostelic from winning this season’s title.

”She already won the overall,” Paerson said after Wednesday’s downhill training session.

Kostelic leads the standings with 1,058 points, 128 more than Austria’s Michaela Dorfmeister and 437 more than Paerson.

Last season’s overall battle between Paerson and Kostelic went down to the final race, with the Swede edging the Croatian by three points.

The biggest difference between the pair this season has been consistency. Each has won four races, but Kostelic has finished every race while Paerson failed to finish six, losing valuable points.

Paerson has said all season that her goal is next month’s Olympics. Kostelic doesn’t believe it.

”I don’t think she’s just going for the Olympics. She’s too much of an aggressive person,” Kostelic said. ”She doesn’t take it real well when somebody beats her. I think she’s really having a hard time, she’s mad. I just know she can ski perfect whenever she wants. One day she can go out, the other day she can win by two seconds.”

However, Paerson could yet figure as a challenger for the overall title. There are 17 races remaining, with wins worth 100 points each.

”I’m not giving up because I never had it as a goal for myself. I’m here to ski, have fun every day, try to find the perfect turn, the perfect harmony,” Paerson said. ”If I go out, I go out. Sometimes it (ticks) me off, sometimes I’m fine with it. But I’m looking for something that is beyond results.”

While Kostelic won three golds at the 2002 Olympics, Paerson came away with a silver and bronze. She is still seeking her first Olympic gold.

”I’ve done so much in my career, this is what I want now, to challenge myself,” Paerson said. ”I’m not focusing on what everybody else is doing, what Janica is doing, I’m focusing on myself.”

Besides Dorfmeister – who isn’t seen as a complete overall threat because she does not race slalom – the only obstacle for Kostelic’s third overall title could be her chronically injured right knee.

Kostelic always feels pain in the knee and said it was hurting even more after a bad jump in Tuesday’s downhill training.
”It really hurts right now,” she said. ”That could be a little problem.”

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