Kostelic Wins Another Slalom
Dec. 28, 2000
SEMMERING, Austria (AP) _ Janica Kostelic of Croatia won her fifth consecutive World Cup slalom of the season, putting together two flawless runs under the lights Thursday night.
Kostelic, who led after the first heat, crossed the line in a combined time of 1 minute 35.06 seconds. She beat Sonja Nef of Switzerland by 0.64 seconds. Third was Norwegian Trine Bakke in 1:36.35.
The 18-year-old Croat, returning this season after a serious injury that put her out of most races last year, attacked the course with her hallmark confidence.
Kostelic said before the race that she did not like competing under the lights, but there was no sign of nervousness as she attacked the slope.
With her fluid grace through the slalom gates, the young racer is being compared with retired Swiss great Vreni Schneider, who dominated slalom and giant slalom racing in the second half of the 1980s and early 1990s.
Schneider holds the record for the most consecutive slalom wins in a single season with seven.
Kostelic, having won all the slaloms this season, now has a perfect score of 500 points in the standings and seems to be unstoppable.
Laurie Pequegnot or France was fourth,. followed by compatriot Christel Saioni. American Sarah Schleper's mistake through the final gates cost her a podium place. She had to settle for sixth.
The second leg was set in fluid, wide curves, quite different from the first leg, which was more direct and faster.