Maze denies Austrians for second title
BEAVER CREEK, United States - Agence France-Presse
Tina Maze of Slovenia celebrates after winning the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships women's combined event on February 9, 2015 in Beaver Creek, Colorado. AFP PhotoSlovenia's Tina Maze continued her quest to win five medals, clinching gold in the super combined Feb. 9 at the World Ski Championships to spoil Austria's bid for a podium sweep.
The 31-year-old World Cup points leader added to her medal haul at the worlds, which includes gold in the downhill and silver in Super-G.
If Maze claims two more medals, she will equal the all-time record of Norwegian great Lasse Kjus, who earned five medals at the 1999 worlds in Vail.
"I think it would be amazing to do that," Maze said. "I hope I can do that. Why not if it is possible?"
Maze produced the fastest time in the downhill leg and followed it with a superb slalom run to edge out silver medallist Nicole Hosp of Austria.
Hosp's teammate, Michaela Kirchgasser took the bronze and another Austrian, Super-G champion Anna Fenninger, finished fourth after the final slalom skier, Maze, knocked her off the podium. Austrians took four of the top six places.
It was another day of disappointment for Lindsey Vonn who failed to find the podium again in front of her hometown fans. Vonn she missed a gate in slalom and was eliminated after finishing seventh earlier in the downhill.
Vonn had to hold back the tears at the finish line.
"I'm just really disappointed," said an emotional Vonn. "It's a hometown World Championships and I really tried as hard as I can. I came up short."
Vonn is coming back from two knee surgeries following a high-speed crash at the 2013 Worlds in Austria.
"I'm going to try to forget today as fast as possible, and move on to the next race," Vonn said. "I'm going to try and take tomorrow off, get my knee rested and hopefully get ready for GS (giant slalom)."
Vonn, who last month became the winningest woman in World Cup history, has just one medal so far -- a bronze in Super-G. Vonn could have one last chance to grab a medal when she skies in the giant slalom on Thursday, but she says she needs to rest her knee first.
"This ice just doesn't feel good on my knee. It's pretty sore. I really tried hard today, but it hurt a lot. It is what it is."
The super combined is a downhill and one run of slalom, with both portions taking place on the same day.
All skiers take one downhill run and then the leaders from the downhill go in reverse order in the slalom. Skiers are then ranked by their combined times from the downhill and slalom.
It marked the fourth career world title for Maze but the first in super combined after she finished runner-up in the past two World Championships in 2011 and 2013.
"It is my first gold in combined," she said. "Before I was always one of the favorites and I didn't win. Now I managed to win it."
Maze clocked a downhill time of 1min, 45.25 secs and then was fifth fastest in the slalom on Monday.
Maze has earned three career World Cup race wins in the alpine combined, 2011 in Tarvisio, 2012 in St. Moritz and 2013 in Meribel.
For Hosp, 31, it means she has won a combined nine worlds and Olympic medals.
"It is amazing for me," said Hosp. "I am so happy about this medal. It was a big fight."
Slalom specialist Kirchgasser produced her second world medal, having won silver in the slalom in 2013.
"I can be pretty proud of myself," said Kirchgasser. "I didn't make any major mistakes."