Thu, Dec 22, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Peerless Marlies Schild makes it a hat-trick in slalom

AFP, FLACHAU, AUSTRIA, and PARIS

Marlies Schild of Austria celebrates in the finish area during the women’s night slalom at the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Flachau, Austria, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Austrian skier Marlies Schild made it three wins from the three World Cup slalom races this season here on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old — already a winner in Aspen and Courchevel — recorded her 30th win in the discipline and 32nd overall World Cup success beating German ace Maria Hofl-Riesch by 0.46 seconds, while Slovenia’s Tina Maze was third, 0.82 seconds adrift.

Schild set up her victory with a brilliant first leg where she established a sizeable advantage over Maze with Hofl-Riesch third fastest.

Her victory places her eighth in the table of overall World Cup wins, someway behind all-time leader fellow Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proll, who recorded 62 career wins.

US superstar Lindsey Vonn, this season’s overall World Cup leader, is the most successful skier still competing with 46 wins.

Schild reveled in her red-hot form, which is making her well nigh unbeatable.

“It’s a really impressive number [the 32 World Cup wins],” she gushed. “All the victories are important and I have to really concentrate on all the races.”

“It is good to be cast in the role of favorite, especially on one’s home patch,” Schild added. “But that uses up a lot of strength. On the other hand when everything goes well it is really pleasing.”

Hofl-Riesch had skied against her doctor’s advice after she had been told to rest for a week after feeling pain in her knee on Sunday.

“During the race, I didn’t feel any pain, but at the end of it, it [the pain] had returned,” said Hofl-Riesch, who won here last season and was second in 2009.

“At the moment, it is almost impossible to beat Marlies Schild in slalom,” she said. “She is the best, but perhaps in one race she will have a dodgy moment and then it is vital that I benefit fully from it.”

Vonn, never at ease in the slalom, finished a creditable eighth to take her total to 554 points in the overall standings in front of Schild, who has 324 points, with German Viktoria Rebensburg, who is not competing at this event, third on 286 points.

This slalom replaced the one first scheduled to be raced in the Finnish resort of Levi last month, but which was canceled owing to a lack of snow.

In related news, the French ski resort of Chamonix will host the men’s World Cup downhill that had to be suspended last weekend at Val Gardena, the Italian Winter Sports Federation announced on Tuesday.

Saturday’s downhill had to be called off after just 21 skiers had raced because of strong winds.

The race will now go ahead at Chamonix on Friday, Feb. 3, while the resort will also host another downhill the next day and a super-combined on the Sunday.

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