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  Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 13:34 GMT
Kostelic claims slalom gold
Croatia's Janica Kostelic
Kostelic recovered from a sore knee to win the slalom
Janica Kostelic raced to the gold medal in the women's slalom on Saturday to finish as the leading female skier at the World Championships.

The triple Olympic champion had already come out on top in the women's combined event.

Kostelic left the competition in her wake after completing both legs of the slalom course in just one minute and 39.55 seconds.

Marlies Schild settled for second place in a time of 1:40.18 secs while her Austrian compatriot Nicole Hosp finished third in 1:40.46 secs.

The slalom was a thrilling spectacle to the very end when Kostelic overhauled three competitors to steal the gold.

Croatia's Janica Kostelic
I really like gold medals a lot

Double gold medallist Janica Kostelic
Pre-race favourite, Anja Paerson who took gold in the giant slalom on Thursday, produced a blistering second run to propel herself from 15th spot into the lead after the second run.

Her time held until a determined Hosp, 19, overtook the Swede, then it was Schild's turn to take top spot.

But Kostelic typically saved her best to last, pulling off a powerful, clean final run to steal first place and push the popular Paerson out of the medals.

The Croatian was delighted that a niggling shoulder injury did not affect her too much.

"The shoulder was hurting a bit in the first run," said the 21-year-old. "But it was better in the second.

"If Anja would have had a good first run and then that perfect second run, then I probably wouldn't have won.

"I really feel great, usually I say world championships is not important for me but when I see how it's going and everything I'm really happy to win another medal."

Britain's Emma Carrick-Anderson left herself too much to do after a poor first run.

The veteran of seven World Championships finished 25th overall.

She said afterwards: "I was much happier with my second run.

"I know I can ski, but to succeed you need to put two runs together and my first run today just wasn't good enough. It is very frustrating."

The championships end with the men's slalom on Sunday.

The 2003 World Ski Championships from St Moritz

Race reports

Competition
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