Tue, Feb 26, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Slovenian Maze clinches overall title in World Cup

AFP, MERIBEL, France

Slovenia’s Tina Maze claimed the women’s overall World Cup title on Sunday after securing a victory in the super-combined in Meribel left her with an unassailable lead atop the standings with nine events still to race.

The 29-year-old has now amassed 1,844 points, meaning she cannot be caught by her closest rival, Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who has 886 points.

Hoefl-Riesch fell in the slalom section of the super-combined, in which Maze posted an aggregate time of 1 minute, 59.54 seconds.

Austrian duo Nicole Hosp and Michaela Kirchgasser were in second and third, 0.82 seconds and 0.90 seconds back respectively.

“I had a really good feeling on the slope straight away in the first training and I knew I could achieve something special here,” Maze said. “I had a few problems in the top section of the course yesterday. The start was moved down today and that suited me better. However, I was a bit sick today and really tired. Super-combined days are very long. I was so tired that I almost skied out twice in the slalom run and still don’t know how I managed to find the energy to stay on the track.”

Maze, who recently won super-G gold and two silvers (for super-combined and giant slalom) at the world championships in Schladming, succeeds American Lindsey Vonn as holder of the international ski circuit’s most prestigious crystal globe.

The Slovenian’s victory on Sunday was her eighth of a startling season and the 19th of her career. She has so far finished 18 times on the podium this season, her consistency across all disciplines setting her apart from her rivals.

Maze now seems set on beating the mythical 2,000-point mark in the overall standings, a feat achieved only once by Austrian legend Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.

She also vowed to keep on battling to bag as many other mini-crystal globes for the separate disciplines.

“I will stay focused and try to get all the globes possible and, most importantly, to keep that high level of performance until the end of the World Cup season,” Maze said.

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