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Zuzulova wins World Cup slalom

by AFP

SEMMERING, Austria (AFP) –

Slovakia's Veronika Velez Zuzulova competes on December 29, 2012

Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova competes in the first run of the women’s Alpine skiing World cup night slalom in Semmering, Austria, on December 29, 2012. Zuzulova won the women’s World Cup slalom, her maiden victory on the international ski circuit.

Slovakia’s Veronika Zuzulova won the women’s World Cup slalom here on Saturday, her maiden victory on the international ski circuit.

Zuzulova finished the two legs in a combined total of 1min 37.28sec, 0.10sec ahead of Austrian Kathrin Zettel, with overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia in third at 0.20sec.

Maze had clocked the fastest time of the first leg ahead of Zuzulova, more than half a second down.

But the Slovak picked a consistent and careful line down the second, floodlit run to claim a memorable first win at the age of 28.

Maze consolidated her lead atop the World Cup standings, wrapping up the year with an impressive tally of 11 podium finises in 16 races.

The Slovenian has already amassed 1,059 points, 427 ahead of Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who finished fourth in the slalom.

“I had already managed several second place finishes, but I continued to believe in myself and today my dream came true,” said Zuzulova.

“I knew I was skiing well, I like the Schladming piste.”

Zettel said she was happy to make the podium in front of home fans.

“It’s a great feeling skiing at home – the public got right behind me.”

Maze admitted to disappointment at the finish.

“I should have skied better but I didn’t. I didn’t feel as free on the second run as in the first. I have to congratulate Veronika.

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