Maze hunts record, Weirather claims Super-G
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AFP) –
Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather earned the first World Cup win of her career in Friday’s Super-G as overall leader Tina Maze edged closer to Hermann Maier’s points record.
Weirather, from the tiny European principality, was the fastest down the Khandahar course in 1min 19.82sec with Julia Mancuso of the United States and overall World Cup winner Maze joint second as both finished at 0.12sec behind.
Austria’s Anna Fenninger was fourth at 0.28sec back, just outside the podium places.
“I have had injury problems in my career, so I am so happy to win here,” said the 23-year-old Weirather, who missed the 2010 Winter Olympics with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
“My parents have supported me a lot, so I am so pleased they could be here today,” she added.
Her mother Hanni Wenzel won giant slalom and slalom gold medals for Liechtenstein at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, while her Austrian father Harti Weirather was the 1982 world downhill champion.
Overall World Cup winner Maze claimed her 19th World Cup podium place this season to set a new record, breaking the old mark set by Wenzel, Weirather’s mother, in 1979-80 and Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden from the 1996-97 season.
Slovenia’s Maze, the reigning Super-G world champion, is now on 1924 points in the overall World Cup standings and, with Saturday’s downhill and Sunday’s second Super-G to come, has a strong chance of breaking Maier’s record tally.
The Austrian legend set the phenomenal haul of 2000 World Cup points in the 1999-2000 season and, with 100 points for a win, Maze, 29, could break the record this weekend having confirmed her overall World Cup win last weekend in Meribel.
With Lindsey Vonn out for the rest of the season due to injury, Maze has the chance to catch the downhill World Cup leader in Saturday’s race.
She is 101 points behind with two races left to go this season.
“I will take every chance that comes my way, I have no problem with energy or strength,” said Maze, who has already secured the giant slalom World Cup crown.
“My big aim is to win the downhill title, that would be a dream.”
Local favourite Maria Hoefl-Riesch finished 11th having struggled for the last 24 hours with a stomach bug.
“I’ve never been as sick as that before, but it didn’t play a role in today’s performance. I made a mistake and paid for it,” said Hoefl-Riesch, who is chasing her 25th World Cup win in her home town.
“I hope I have a say in the downhill tomorrow and at least get on the podium.
“To celebrate my 25th World Cup win here would be a dream.”