Hosp wins GS; Pearson’s win streak ends | AspenTimes.com

Hosp wins GS; Pearson’s win streak ends

Erica Bulman
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Austria's Nicole Hosp skis to the gold medal in the women's giant slalom at the World Alpine Ski Championships in Are, Sweden on Tuesday. (Thomas Kienzle/AP)

ARE, Sweden ” Anja Paerson’s remarkable three-race winning streak at the world championships ended Tuesday when she fell in the giant slalom, which was won by Nicole Hosp.

Olympic champion Julia Mancuso of the United States, who led after the opening run, slipped to fifth after struggling on the second run. She said later she will return home and skip Friday’s slalom because the world championships have been “just too much for my body.”

Hosp, who was fourth after the opening leg, won with a combined time of 2 minutes, 31.72 seconds to give Austria its first gold medal at the world championships after two silver and three bronze medals. Hosp won one of those bronze medals, in Sunday’s downhill.

“I dreamt of this gold medal last night,” said Hosp, who leads the World Cup giant slalom standings this season. “After I came down and was leading, I watched the other girls come down, but I wasn’t nervous, because my time was so good. I knew for Julia and the others it was going to be very, very difficult to equal this time.”

Maria Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden captured the silver medal in 2:32.57. Italy’s Denise Karbon took the bronze in 2:32.69.

“Niki had a perfect run,” said Austrian Alpine director Hans Pum. “Everybody was asking when we were going to win our first gold. It was a lot of pressure for the whole team. But now we have the gold medal.”

Paerson, who swept the first three races at these world championships with victories in the super G, downhill and combined, was the two-time defending champion in giant slalom. She crashed on the second leg, after being seventh fastest on the opening leg.

Paerson slid at high speed down the course and attempted to catch a gate with her hand to slow down. After finally getting up, Paerson skied down the rest of the course and performed a little jump before zipping around the finish area and waving to fans.

She will attempt again to win a record fourth gold at a single championship in the slalom.

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