Schild holds off Riesch in Semmering
Wed, 29 Dec 18:35:00 2010
Austrian Marlies Schild overcame a superb second run by world and Olympic champion Maria Riesch to win her third slalom of the season at home in Semmering.
After the first leg, Schild held a huge lead of 2.40 seconds over Riesch but the German cut the gap to 0.32 seconds in the final result.
"I had bitter memories of four years ago when I missed a gate near the finish as I was leading. It was a different story today," Schild, who had a combined time of one minute 42.06 seconds, said after her 24th World Cup slalom victory.
Riesch had been a disappointing 17th in the first run held in mid-afternoon but still fared better than American rival and friend Lindsey Vonn, who crashed out.
The German increased her lead in the overall World Cup standings to leave Vonn trailing by 121 points.
"I can tell the Christmas break did me a lot of good. I hope the New Year break will be the same," Riesch said.
"I'm finishing the year in top spot. It's useless but it's pleasant."
Third place went to another German, junior world champion Christina Geiger, who earned her first podium in the senior ranks, 0.52 behind Schild.
Schild was lucky to recover from a big mistake halfway down the second run.
"I made this mistake and I was completely lost yet my tactic was to attack and I kept doing it until the finish," she said.
"I wanted this badly because of the expectations of the fans and the media here. I took my chances."Reuters