SESTRIERE, Italy (AP) _ Sweden's Pernilla Wiberg is favored to win the gold medal in Wednesday's slalom at the world championships. What she really wants is a bronze in the downhill or super-G.

``I have as a goal for these world championships to take a medal in super-G or downhill,'' said Wiberg, the two-time Olympic and three-time world champion.

``I have Olympic and world medals in all the other disciplines (except super-G and downhill) and it would be nice to complete things,'' she said.

The 26-year-old is proving this season she's not just a slalom specialist. Rather, she's the sport's best woman. She's a clear favorite to take the World Cup overall title this year and her first World Cup slalom crown.

``This year all four disciplines have been really good for me,'' Wiberg said. ``That's the difference from the other years. ... I want to do well in all four disciplines because Alpine skiing is all four.''

Wiberg, short with bulging upper legs, overpowers the course. This season she looks even stronger and her endurance is better, making her even tougher in slalom.

She has won 19 World Cup races over her career, including six this season _ three in slalom, two in super-G and one combined. She also has six other top-three finishes, including two times in super-G and once in the downhill.

That's quite a change from just over a year ago when she was unhappy with the sport and seldom winning.

``I had a conversation with myself then ... and decided just to be happy skiing and enjoy it,'' she said. ``Since then it's been different.''

Armed with that new attitude, she won two golds in the slalom and combined a few months later at the 1996 world championships in Spain. Now several factors favor her as she tries to defend her title in Wednesday's slalom.

As for the two speed races? She'll have to wait until next week in these two-week championships to find out.

``The course is very long but more than that it's very icy,'' said Italy's Debroah Compagnoni, another contender in slalom. ``On that kind of course, Wiberg ... is very powerful, the woman to beat.''

All four slalom races at these championship will be at night, a move by world ski officials to give the sport a larger television presence. That too favors the Swede.

``We're used to training in Sweden at night because of the long winters,'' said Wiberg's teammate Titti Rodling. ``Here (in Sestriere) the lights are so good, it's better than daylight.''

Claudia Riegler, an Austrian who skis for New Zealand, and Austria's Elfi Eder are probably the other favorites. Riegler, 20, has won three times this season and Eder is the defending World Cup slalom champion.

Riegler claimed her third World Cup slalom win of the season on Sunday to keep Wiberg from clinching the World Cup slalom title.

``She (Riegler) has quite a different style from the others,'' Wiberg said. ``But it's a good style, and when she skis well she's very fast.''

No New Zealander has won a medal at the world championships, although Annelise Coberger won a slalom silver at the 1992 Olympics.