Alpine skiing: German's Riesch wins again
German skier Maria Riesch won her fourth successive World Cup slalom in Maribor, seeing off Austria's Kathrin Zettel and Finland's Tanja Poutiainen.india Updated: Jan 11, 2009 19:19 IST
German skier Maria Riesch won her fourth successive World Cup slalom in Maribor on Sunday, seeing off Austria's Kathrin Zettel and Finland's Tanja Poutiainen.
Riesch had established a huge 1.5sec lead after the opening run and the 24-year-old finally triumphed in 1min 29.64sec with Zettel 1.15sec adrift and Poutiainen 1.77sec off the pace.
"I could never have imagined posting four wins on the trot," beamed Riesch after a win which took her further clear at the head of the overall World Cup standings as well as the slalom rankings.
"Nothing can stop me right now. I am bursting with confidence.
"I had a big lead after the first run - though I was a bit nervous at the start. But I found a good middle way between attacking the course and a secure approach.
"Of course when you win it raises expectations as people start to say 'she's going to be world champion,' but each time it's a new race.
"Anyway, I'm not going to change my preparation for the world championships - I'm working on all disciplines."
Riesch, in adding to wins at La Molina, Semmering and Zagreb on her current hot streak, recorded her tenth career victory and fifth in the slalom.
Poutiainen managed her third slalom podium of the season and Zettel her second.
Reigning overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn lost 2.47sec on the opening run but then managed the best time in the second as she managed to claim fifth place behind Swede Anja Paerson, who has won five races in the past at the venue.
Zettel said she was delighted a tough training regime was bearing fruit, particularly after some recent digestive problems.
"I've been training hard so it's satisfying that it is coming off.
"I've been close to slalom wins for two years now, but I can't get there by clicking my fingers.
"My position as Austrian number one can be explained by the absences of Marlies Schild and Nicole Hosp," she added modestly.