Hosp Wins Giant Slalom, Clark Finishes Third


LIENZ, Austria, Dec. 27, 2003 (AP) -- Nicole Hosp led a 1-2 finish for Austria in a World Cup giant slalom Saturday, with Kirsten Clark of the United States a surprising third.

Renate Goetschl was 0.65 seconds behind. Clark was 0.93 seconds back and another American, Sarah Schleper, was eighth.

Clark, a silver medalist in the super giant slalom at the 2003 world championships, recorded her best finish in a giant slalom. In her previous giant slaloms this season, she was 23rd, 27th and 29th.

Hosp, who crashed in the season opener in Soelden, covered the two runs in 2 minutes, 6.24 seconds for the third World Cup victory of her career.

Two favorites dropped out in the first run: Sweden's Anja Paerson and Italy's Denise Karbon.

This was the first giant slalom victory this season for Austria's women. Hosp had finished second in Park City, Utah, and Alta Badia, Italy.

"Winning at home is best and I hope I can win some more," she said.

Hosp said she knew the slope from her days at ski school as a youngster.

"Already back then it was tough and nothing has changed," she said. "But I trusted my skills and pushed as hard as I could."

Goetschl, a downhill and super-G specialist, posted her best result in a giant slalom.

"I cannot believe coming second here," she said.

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