Tue, Dec 02, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Zahrobska claims first World Cup win


Croatia’s Ana Jelusic skis past a marker during the first run of the slalom at the women’s World Cup in Aspen, Colorado, on Sunday. Jelusic placed 12th in the race.


Czech Sarka Zahrobska claimed the first World Cup victory of her career on Sunday, defying gusting winds to triumph in the second slalom of the season.

Austrian Nicole Hosp, slightly injured in a crash in Saturday’s giant slalom, salvaged her weekend with a second place finish, ahead of Finland’s Tanja Poutiainen.

Zahrobska, leading after the first leg, won with a combined time of 1 minute, 39.32 seconds.

Zahrobska, 22, is the reigning slalom world champion, but had never won a World Cup race. She had reached the podium five times before capturing her first Cup win in Aspen.

“This victory is important for me because I’ve never had success here. I’ve always had trouble,” Zahrobska said.

Poutiainen, who earned her third podium finish in four races this season, remained atop the overall standings ahead of Lindsey Vonn of the US, who finished fourth.

Vonn, who won the first slalom of the season at Levi, Finland, remained atop the standings in the discipline.

Hosp started Sunday’s race despite straining a leg muscle on Saturday.

Fourth after the first-leg, she notched the fastest time of the second-leg to earn her podium place.

“I can’t believe it,” said Hosp, who admitted she found it hard to relax racing with an injury. “I was always thinking about my injury, I didn’t feel free.”

Her performance, just a day after she limped off the same hill, was all the more remarkable given the treacherous conditions.

The strong winds, gusting more than 80kph, forced a delay of the first-leg.

They continued to make for tough going with poor visibility in the second-leg.

The women will be hoping for better racing weather when they travel to Lake Louise, Canada, where two downhills and a super-G are scheduled from Friday.

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