St. Moritz, Switzerland (Feb. 15) AP — Olympic champion Janica Kostelic of Croatia won the slalom Saturday for her second gold medal at the World Championships.
Kostelic led by 0.40 seconds after her first run and beat Austria’s Marlies Schild by 0.63 with a strong second run, finishing in 1 minute, 39.55 seconds.
Austria’s Nicole Hosp, second to Kostelic in the combined, finished third, 0.91 back.
Resi Stiegler was the only American to complete both runs, finishing 19th.
Kostelic and Hosp are the only double medalists in the women’s competition.
The top three skiers after the first run held on to their positions in the second heat on the Engiadina course.
Sweden’s Anja Paerson, the defending champion, was 1.60 seconds behind Kostelic after the first run, but used a strong second run to move from 15th to fourth. Paerson, the giant slalom champion, was more than a half-second faster than Kostelic on the second run.
Racing with a bruised shoulder and a sore right knee, Kostelic said she was in pain, particularly on the first run.
“I really tried my heart out as much as I could,” she said. “My shoulder hurt more than my knee. It was worse at the start, but it got better as I went. I paid more attention at the top where several skiers went out.”
Kostelic became the first woman to win four medals at an Olympics when she picked up three golds and a silver last year in Salt Lake City. Before this year, she had never won a medal at worlds.
“Before, usually I said the world championships were not so important to me, but now when I see my medals I’m happy with what I done,” the 21-year-old Kostelic said. “I like the medals a lot, a real lot.”
“I know I kept saying that I don’t put much stock into the world championships, but it is a bit cool after all.”
Sweden’s Anna Ottosson was fifth, and Switzerland’s Sonja Nef finished sixth.
Americans Sarah Schleper and Julia Mancuso fell in the first run. Kristina Koznick missed a gate and slid off the course. She climbed back up and completed the race, but lost 40.74 seconds to the leader and did not start the second heat.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS
1. Janica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:39.55 (49.32-50.23).
2. Marlies Schild, Austria, 1:40.18 (49.72-50.46).
3. Nicole Hosp, Austria, 1:40.46 (49.77-50.69).
4. Anja Paerson, Sweden, 1:40.58 (50.92-49.66).
5. Anna Ottosson, Sweden, 1:40.94 (50.33-50.61).
6. Sonja Nef, Switzerland, 1:41.06 (50.35-50.71).
7. Laure Pequegnot, France, 1:41.30 (50.32-50.98).
8. Nika Fleiss, Croatia, 1:41.60 (50.87-50.73).
9. Sabine Egger, Austria, 1:41.62 (50.82-50.80).
10. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 1:41.66 (50.50-51.16).
11. Annalisa Ceresa, Italy, 1:41.67 (50.79-50.88).
12. Christel Pascal, France, 1:41.69 (50.54-51.15).
13. Monika Bergmann, Germany, 1:41.70 (50.52-51.18).
14. Marlies Oester, Switzerland, 1:41.81 (51.39-50.42).
15. Manuela Moelgg, Italy, 1:42.08 (51.19-50.89).
16. Claudia Riegler, New Zealand, 1:42.09 (51.26-50.83).
17. Line Viken, Norway, 1:42.20 (51.86-50.34).
17. Petra Zakourilova, Czech Republic, 1:42.20 (51.53-50.67).
19. Resi Stiegler, United States, 1:42.37 (51.26-51.11).
20. Emily Brydon, Canada, 1:42.38 (52.13-50.25).
21. Susanne Ekman, Sweden, 1:42.45 (51.44-51.01).
22. Henna Raita, Finland, 1:42.71 (51.57-51.14).
23. Nicole Gius, Italy, 1:43.27 (51.79-51.48).
24. Ana Jelusic, Croatia, 1:44.16 (52.31-51.85).
25. Emma Carrick-Anderson, Britain, 1:44.66 (52.49-52.17).
26. Britt Janyk, Canada, 1:44.77 (52.66-52.11).
27. Denise Karbon, Italy, 1:44.85 (52.69-52.16).
28. Eva Kurfuerstova, Czech Republic, 1:45.09 (53.20-51.89).
29. Noriyo Hiroi, Japan, 1:45.54 (52.67-52.87).
30. Allison FForsyth, Canada, 1:45.76 (52.82-52.94).
Kristina Koznick, United States, did not start second run.
Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press