Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Marlies Schild Wins World Cup Slalom in Courchevel

Since 2010 Courchevel is back on the Ladies Alpine Ski World Cup circuit. It's been a real success every year. Today's conditions were just perfect for the second Slalom race of the season. Austria's Marlies Schild made the most of it to finally race to her 34th World Cup slalom victory in a combined time of 1:45.17, tying Vreni Schneider's ladies' record. The Austrian champion was third after the first run, just 0.20 seconds behind her younger sister Bernadette, who had paced the first run. Marlies Schild put a breathtaking second run together to take the lead. Second of the first run, Sweden's Frida Hansdotter managed keep up the pace and the second place, 0.33 seconds slower. Bernadette Schild had a less clean second run and took third place in the end, 1.22 seconds behind her older sister.
Marlies Schild, who already won the only two World Cup slaloms held in Courchevel, is back at her top level and will be contender for the salom title and the gold medal in Sochi.
"I wasn't really nervous, because I knew there was no other way but to give it all out to be faster than my younger sister", said the 32-year-old. "It was just a lot of fun again, that is the main thing. The hill here in Courchevel is not easy. It's steep and you have to push really hard. You simply can't be conservative (...) It's been 2 years since I last won a race. Everybody has been telling me about this record. Now that's it's done, I'll be able to ski with less pressure. My self-confidence is back (...) My plan was to retire earlier in my career. But I lost some time with my injuries. I've always had the feeling I could achieve more. That's why I'm still on the tour".  
Frida Hansdotter has been looking for her maiden World Cup victory for a long time. She had to be content today with the second position for the 7th time in her career so far.
"I struggled with one of my poles right at the start of the second run and definitely lost some time there, but I'm for sure very happy with a podium today", said the 28-year-old Swede. "The course was challenging. When it's tough, I like it and this actually when I get good results". 
Like all athletes, she has a lot of respect for the winner of day Marlies Schild. "It's nice to see her back on the tour after the injuries she's had. I'm sure her plan is to go for the victory in every single race from now on. We will try our best to stop her", she concluded joking.  
Bernadette Schild earned her second career podium after finishing second of the slalom race at the Lenzerheide finals.
"To be the last up there at the start was special", she said. "I looked around and there were just a couple of people left. I was of course a bit nervous but tried to relax (...) I wasn't told about my sister being the fastest of the second run, but I was sure she would be. Finishing third today gives me a lot of confidence going into the next slalom race at home in Lienz. I really look forward to it. It's going to be fun".
The ladies tour now shifts to Val d'Isère where a Downhill and a Giant Slalom race are scheduled for the weekend.

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