CANOE Network SLAM!Sports

 
 

HOCKEY
HOCKEY POOL
JR. HOCKEY
WRESTLING
CFL
NFL
MLB
NBA
2012 GAMES
FIGHTING
SOCCER
GOLF
TENNIS
MOTORSPORTS
CURLING
LACROSSE
FIG. SKATING
SKIING
OTHER SPORTS
COMMENT
SLAM! BLOG
SLAM! TUMBLR
SCOREBOARD
DAILY GALLERY
MORE GALLERIES
VIDEO GALLERY
NEWSLETTER
RSS FEED
TWITTER FEED


NFL CANADA

SKI NOTE


Saturday, October 25, 10:20 AM
*Ertl clinches victory after three-year drought*
-------------------------------------------------

By Brooke Edwards 
SportsTicker Contributing Editor 

SOELDEN, Austria (Ticker) --  Germany's Martina Ertl ended a 
three-year victory drought Saturday, claiming the women's 
season-opening World Cup giant slalom race.

Ertl, whose last victory dates back to a giant slalom in Soelden
in October 2000, twisted her way down the aggressive, icy
Rettenbach course in 2 minutes, 31.86 seconds to collect her
14th career World Cup win.

"This is absolutely sensational," Ertl said. "Unbelievable. I've
been waiting so long.  I didn't expect to do so well or start
the season so well. I thought maybe I had a chance to be in the
top three."

World and World Cup champion Anja Paerson of Sweden finished
second in 2:32.06, while Spain's Maria Jose Rienda Contreras
climbed the podium for the first time of her career, placing
third in 2:32.25.

A multi-Olympic and world championship medalist, Ertl had
struggled through a three-year slump following a series of knee
injuries in the 2000-2001 season. Her previous best result was a
bronze medal from the 2002 Olympic combined event, a paper race
that adds the time from a downhill to those of a slalom, but in
which few racers compete.

"I'm back!" Ertl laughingly shouted at Paerson on the podium.
"It's been two years that I've been injury-free but it has been
a long road back to the top. I'm lucky that I am a person who
has a lot of energy and determination and I really wanted to
fight. "These two years have been tough."

The German, once a dominant force on the circuit, is a strong
alrounder skier who finished runner-up in the World Cup overall
standings in 1996 and 1998.

This year, however, she said she would primarily focus on the
technical events.

"My goal is to compete in the giant slalom and slalom events
this season," Ertl said. "I might also do some downhills like in
Lake Louise and some combined downhills. But it depends on my
form. I prefer to do fewer races and focus more on the ones I
do for more quality and results. I'd like to stay injury-free."

The German said she would not specifically target the overall
this time around, even though reigning champion Janica Kostelic
has been sidelined until December after knee surgery, throwing
the race for the coveted crystal globe wide open.

"It's difficult to know how the season is going to turn out,"
Ertl said. "I'm sorry Janica is out and I hope she will return
to the same level soon. Who knows who will win. Maybe someone
else will come out from the blue."

Paerson has gone the opposite route from Ertl, recently adding
the speed disciplines to her workload. She said planned to race
in the super-G as well as the technical events, and would may
race in a couple of downhills.

"It's the first time I'm really trying the downhill and
super-G," Paerson said. "I'm not sure if I will race in the
downhill, but I am for sure going to race in some super-G and do
some (official) downhill training runs.  If I do well in the
super-G then maybe I will actually race some downhills. After
the Olympic in Turin my goal is to race in all four disciplines
and be good at them all.  For now it's just step by step."

Rienda Contreras had looked poised to become the first Spaniard
to win a World Cup in 12 years, posting the fastest time in the
opening leg.

It was nevertheless an improvement for Rienda Contreras, whose
previous best was a fifth place in a giant slalom in Bormio last
season.

The last Spaniard to win a World Cup race was Blanca
Fernandez-Ochoa, who took a slalom in Lech, Austria.

Chimene Alcott finished 25th in 2:36.54, becoming the first
British woman to qualify for the second leg of a World Cup giant
slalom as well as to score points in the discipline.

The men are scheduled to race their first giant slalom on the
season Sunday on the same glacier.

st 10-25-03 10:11 et





Which team is your early pick to win the Stanley Cup this season?
  Blackhawks
  Penguins
  Bruins
  Kings
  Blues
  Red Wings
  Canucks
  Ducks
  Another team


Results