• Germany's news in English

Höfl-Riesch defends Olympic ski title

AFP · 10 Feb 2014, 14:22

Published: 10 Feb 2014 14:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 29-year-old, who also won the world title last year, posted a total time of 2min 34.62sec after one downhill and one slalom run.

"I can't quite believe it. This is really overwhelming. My confidence was a bit knocked before I went down, especially because the downhill didn't go great this morning," said the German, who had looked unusually jittery in the start gate.

She finished ahead of Austria's Nicole Hosp at 0.40sec and US favourite Julia Mancuso, who made a key mistake halfway through the course to finish third at 0.53sec despite leading after the downhill.

Höfl-Riesch was fifth after the morning's run, but put in a smooth performance in the slalom - her speciality - to take her third Olympic gold medal after combined and slalom wins in Vancouver in 2010.

Slovenia's Tina Maze, last year's overwhelming World Cup winner, finished fifth.

CLICK HERE to see Germany's Sochi medal hopes

"My slalom wasn't good, I didn't start well, I was trying to find the right feeling and I didn't manage that," she said.

"I'm not as confident as I was last year in the slalom. I'm trying to do something more this season and it's not working out."

The 30-year-old double world champion has been battling back after a disappointing start to the season and missed the podium by 10 hundredths of a second.

"It's hard to be fourth. I'm not skiing bad, but still I'm not winning and I'm not the last one.

"It's like something in the middle, I didn't have the best season, but I'm still skiing well so I have some podiums and I'm happy about that."

Switzerland's Lara Gut was second after the downhill and a favourite for the podium but made an expensive mistake halfway down the floodlit course and skied out.

She was one of nine racers who failed to finish the tricky run, including Austrian former double world champion Elisabeth Görgl, Sweden's Lotte Smiseth Sejersted and Switzerland's Dominique Gisin.

"It hurts, but I know that's sports," said 22-year-old Gut, who was taking part in her first Olympics.

"I knew that other girls like Maria (Höfl-Riesch) and Nicole (Hosp) were strong in slalom so I had to take every risk. I made a mistake and it was over.

"It seems you will win the super-combined if you're a good slalom skier," added the speed specialist.

"If I want to be on the podium again for super combined, I have to work on my slalom."

Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon, winner of the sole World Cup super-combined race this season, fell forward after catching a gate with her ski, and appeared injured, holding her left arm as she got up.

Story continues below…

For 30-year-old Hosp, who missed the last Olympics due to injury, this was a second medal after slalom silver in 2006.

The former overall World Cup winner, who also took world bronze in the discipline last year, led a pack of strong Austrians including Görgl, Michaela Kirchgasser and 2011 super-combined world champion Anna Fenninger.

But the latter two had to make do with a seventh and eighth place.

In all, 31 racers tackled the slalom course which was new to many, after braving an icy and challenging 2,700-metre downhill in the morning.

The super-combined tests racers' ability to tackle both speed and technical courses but it is the event least featured at World Cup level, with just two or three races per year.

READ MORE: Sochi's youngest hope - German ski jumper, 15

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd