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Italy’s Costazza wins women’s slalom

Eric Willemsen
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
Giovanni Auletta/APItaly's Chiara Costazza celebrates on the podium after winning the World Cup slalom race, in Lienz, Austria, Saturday.
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LIENZ, Austria ” Chiara Costazza of Italy won the slalom race Saturday for her first career World Cup victory while Lindsey Vonn of the United States finished 25th and lost her lead in the overall standings.

Costazza, who led after the first leg, finished her second run on the Hochstein course in 57.01 seconds for a combined time of 1 minute, 54.97 seconds.

Nicole Hosp of Austria took the lead in the overall standings with a second-place finish, 0.68 seconds behind Costazza. Tanja Poutiainen of Finland was third, 0.86 seconds behind.



Several favorites did not qualify for the second run ” Julia Mancuso was 31st and slalom world champion Sarka Zahrobska was 37th.

Costazza is the first Italian in 10 years to win a women’s World Cup slalom, and the first non-Austrian winner since Dec. 29, 2006, when Therese Borssen of Sweden won in Semmering, Austria.



Denise Karbon of Italy won the giant slalom on Friday.

“What a couple of great days for Italian skiing to end the year with,” said Costazza, whose best previous World Cup result was third in slalom earlier this season. “I felt the pressure and was a bit nervous going into my second run, but just tried to do my best and avoid mistakes.”

Hosp lost time halfway through her second leg as she briefly lost control and balanced on her right ski with her left leg up in the air.



“It’s incredible to finish second after such an error,” Hosp said. “After that, I just went down as fast as I possibly could. I am happy that it worked out fine.”

Hosp was the only Austrian skier to finish in the top three at the four recent World Cup races in Austria ” last week in St. Anton am Arlberg and this weekend.

Hosp leads the World Cup slalom standings with 305 points and the overall standings with 514 points.

Vonn dropped to second overall with 480 points, followed by Maria Riesch of Germany (450) and Mancuso (444).

“There was much pressure on us to do well in these home races, so one single podium finish is obviously a disappointing result,” said Hosp, the defending overall World Cup champion. “However, it’s great to end the year on top of the rankings, but I can’t take anything for granted yet.”

Some skiers weren’t able to finish their runs on the tricky course.

Marlies Schild, who won two of three previous slalom races this season, had a fast start to the first leg but went out after losing control of a ski while turning in a sharp curve.

Anja Paerson had a few errors in the upper part of the course and quit the race shortly before the finish line. Kathrin Zettel also went out after sliding off the course halfway through her run.


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