Schild wins 4th World Cup slalom title
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
ZAGREB, Croatia – Marlies Schild won her fourth World Cup slalom of the season Thursday to extend her lead atop the women’s overall standings.
As rivals struggled and fell on the tricky Slijeme course, the Austrian had a pair of near-flawless runs. She finished in 1 minute, 1.63 seconds.
Resi Steigler was the highest-placed American, finishing fifth. Julia Mancuso finished eighth.
Two-time overall champion Anja Paerson led going into her last run with only Schild to go, but fell in the lower section after her upper arm clipped a gate. Theresa Borssen, who won the last slalom in Semmering, Austria, also crashed while leading.
Home favorite Ana Jelusic finished 1.66 seconds back in second for her first podium finish, and Sarka Zahrobska took a career-best third place, 1.85 seconds back.
With reigning World Cup overall and slalom champion Janica Kostelic taking a year off due to chronic back and knee problems, Schild is dominating women’s skiing. Paerson has also struggled to recover from knee surgery.
Kostelic criticized the strength of the women’s circuit in her absence.
“I don’t miss being away from competitive skiing, there doesn’t seem to be any style or flair in it,” Kostelic said Thursday. “The level of skiing is pretty weak _ with the exception of Schild, who is technically too strong, and Paerson, who is still recovering from injury.”
Beset by unseasonably warm weather and a shortage of natural snow, race stewards battled to prepare the Slijeme course, which is the longest slalom piste on the women’s circuit at 650 meters.
Let’s make some skiing predictions. I made my X Games snowboarding predictions a day earlier and remain only mildly lukewarm in terms of confidence, but maybe I’ll feel better about the skiers.