takes first World Cup skiing win since 2008
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[December 01, 2014]
By Manuele Lang
ASPEN, Colorado (Reuters) - Austrian
veteran Nicole Hosp upset the younger slalom favorites, including world
and Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin, to take her first World Cup
skiing victory since 2008 on Sunday.
Revived by this year's Sochi Olympics, where she won a silver and
a bronze after years fighting injury, the 2007 overall World Cup
winner won in a combined time of one minute and 44.90 seconds. The
31-year-old beat Swedenís Frida Hansdotter by 0.19 seconds and
compatriot Kathrin Zettel, who seized the overall World Cup lead, by
0.95. Since making her return from two knee injuries in 2009, the
Austrian all-rounder has shone more in speed events and took her
Sochi medals in the combined and Super-G.
Her last World Cup win before Sunday was in a slalom in Maribor,
Slovenia, in January 2008.
"The last time I won a slalom was in 2008. Itís like another
lifetime," she said. "To win today is a bit like scoring my first
victory. It means a lot when youíve gone through all these troubled
"I cannot say Iíd stopped believing in my chances because I felt in
training I was not finished. I thought a top five was possible,
maybe a podium. But in slalom, with all these young girls coming up,
I didnít think I still had my place."
The young generation, personified by Shiffrin, were not in their
best shape on the Aspen course. The 19-year-old American clocked the
fastest morning time but faltered in the afternoon, perhaps weakened
by a stomach bug that had been bothering her all week.
"Itís hard when you ski great in training and then in the race
nothing goes according to plan," said Shiffrin, who finished 5th,
1:08 behind Hosp.
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Despite the disappointment, it was an improvement from 11th in her
previous race in the Finnish resort of Levi this month.
"After Levi I lost a bit of confidence," she said. "I knew I needed
to do something special in the second run today but that little
extra something wasnít there."
The womenís circuit moves to Lake Louise next weekend for a downhill
and a Super-G.
(Reporting by Manuele Lang, editing by Alan Baldwin)
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