Norway’s Svindal, Austria’s Hosp win overalls |

Norway’s Svindal, Austria’s Hosp win overalls

Bradley S. Klapper
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal and Austria's Nicole Hosp kiss their overall trophies Sunday at World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. (Armando Trovati/AP)

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland ” After a five-month season, it all came down to seven hun­dredths of a second ” the mar­gin by which Aksel Lund Svindal won the World Cup overall title.

Needing a finish of 15th or better to ensure victory over Aus­tria’s Benni Raich, Svindal fin­ished 15th in the slalom Sunday in the final World Cup event of the season.

Raich won the race but finished 13 points behind Svindal in the overall standings.

The women’s overall crown went to Nicole Hosp, who won a giant slalom to hold off Austrian teammate Marlies Schild. Julia Mancuso, who fell out of con­tention for the overall title a day earlier, was 11th Sunday to finish third overall ” the best showing by an American woman since Tamara McKinney was third in 1984.

“I think that it was really cool to be a contender to the end,” Mancuso said.

Svindal completed Sunday’s two runs in 1 minute, 43.62 sec­onds to place 15th, just ahead of Martin Hansson’s time of 1:43.69. Only the top 15 finish­ers earn points, and Svindal would have lost the title by three points if he had finished further back.

“I was so nervous at the finish line,” said Svindal, the first Nor­wegian to win the overall title in eight years.

American Ted Ligety was 14th, while teammate Bode Miller didn’t finish his first run. Miller placed fourth in the over­all standings.

“The overall World Cup title is the greatest prize there is,” said Svindal, who also won the giant slalom and combined titles this season. “To win it in the last run, in the last race of the season, is just crazy.”

Raich won the slalom in 1: 39.78. Mario Matt of Austria was second in 1:40.75, and Man­fred Moelgg of Italy was third in 1:41.52.

“Aksel is a good athlete, a good skier and a super person. I can only congratulate him,” said Raich, who won the World Cup slalom title.

Hosp had two flawless runs in the giant slalom on the Silvano Beltrametti course to win in 2:11.98, a stunning 1.42 seconds faster than Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany.

Michaela Kirchgasser of Austria was third in 2:13.51.

“A lot of things were going through my head, but I worked hard to concentrate on just skiing well,” Hosp said. “Everything went perfect today.”

The victory came a day after Hosp claimed the overall lead with her first slalom win of the season ” a race Schild was favored to win. But Schild twice veered off course Saturday and hiked back uphill to rerun the gates. She needed to make up 30 points Sunday on Hosp to win the World Cup crystal globe.

“I had no feeling in the first run. I quite simply bungled it,” Schild said.

Hosp finished with 1,572 points. Schild had 1,482 and Mancuso followed with 1,356.

Hosp posted four World Cup wins this season in three events ” slalom, GS and combined ” and finished runner- up in eight other races. She won gold in the GS last month at the world championships in Are, Sweden, where she also picked up a bronze in the downhill.

It marked the first time in five years an Austrian woman had won the overall title. The last four were evenly shared by Swe­den’s Anja Paerson and Croatia’s Janica Kostelic.


See more