Alpine Skiing - Alpine skiing-Velez Zuzulova earns first Slovakian World Cup win

By Manuele Lang

Reuters

SEMMERING, Austria, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Veronika Velez Zuzulova gave Slovakia their first victory in a women's alpine skiing World Cup race by winning a slalom on Saturday.

After having achieved 13 podium finishes in 10 years, the former junior world champion finally broke through when she clocked a combined time of one minute 37.28 seconds.

Zuzulova, 28, who married her French coach Romain Velez earlier this year, was 0.10 seconds ahead of Austrian Kathrin Zettel.

Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze was fastest on the first run but skied a little too conservatively in the floodlit second leg and had to be content with third place, 0.20 off the pace.

It was the Slovenian's 11th podium finish of the season and lifted her overall points tally to 1,059, giving her a lead of 427 points over second-placed German Maria Hoefl-Riesch who ended up fourth in Semmering.

American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin, who claimed her first World Cup victory in Sweden last week, missed a gate on the second leg and failed to score any points.

The next race is in Munich on New Year's Day, a parallel slalom competition involving the 12 best skiers in the discipline and the top four all-rounders. (Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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