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Kostelic Wins Women’s Slalom

March 10, 2002

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FLACHAU, Austria (AP) _ Triple Olympic gold medalist Janica Kostelic of Croatia won the final women’s World Cup slalom Sunday to finish the season in style.

France’s Laure Pequegnot came in fifth to hold onto the lead in the season’s slalom standings.

American Kristina Koznick, the only racer challenging Pequegnot for the season title, finished 13th in the final and finished second in the season standings.

On Saturday, Janica’s brother Ivica took the men’s giant slalom title to wrap up a perfect weekend for the family.

Janica Kostelic, who was fifth after the first run, had a combined time of 1 minute, 54.66.

``I just wanted to end the season well and to show everyone I could win in World Cup races as well as at the Olympics,″ she said.

Few people doubt her ability to win races. She dominated last season but missed World Cup races earlier this season while recovering from injury.

Her spectacular performance at the Salt Lake Winter Olympics, where she took three golds and a silver, launched her back into the limelight and served as a confidence booster going into the final race.

Kostelic raced with a glove protecting a thumb sprained in a spill in Thursday’s Super G.

Anja Paerson of Sweden was second in the final race, finishing with a combined time of 1:55.23, and Ylva Nowen of Sweden was third in 1:55.38.

Koznick said this had been ``an awesome season″ for her.

``I’ve been faster than everyone else this season and everyone knows that,″ she said. ``I just have to be able to put it together on race day.″

Pequegnot rounded up the season with 597 points, 79 ahead of Koznick.

Paerson finished third in the final standings with four wins and a second place to her credit and a spectacular record of either finishing on the podium or not at all.

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