Sport

25 Feb 2021, 09:32 AM

STA, 24 February 2021 - The Giro d'Italia, one of the three iconic Grand Tour cycling races, will take a detour through Slovenia this year. The 15th stage will take the riders to the winemaking region of Goriška Brda and the city of Nova Gorica in the west of the country on Sunday, 23 May.

With the start and finish in Italy, the stage will run from Grado to Gorizia and will be perfect for sprinters, the organizers said at the presentation of the 104th Giro in Milan on Wednesday.

The world's second biggest stage race after the Tour de France, the Giro will set off in Turin on 8 May to finish in Milan on 30 May, visiting 14 out of Italy's 20 provinces and crossing into Slovenia and Switzerland on the way in a total of 21 stages.

The municipalities of Brda and Nova Gorica attributed the credit for the Giro visiting Slovenia to Edy Reja, an Italian football coach of Slovenian descent, and the excellent cross-border relationship.

They described the rolling hills of Brda and the surrounding area as a "real treat" and magnet for cyclists year-round.

The Giro has visited the region before, 20 years ago.

It is seen as yet another success for the border region after Nova Gorica won its bid to host the 2025 European Capital of Culture with its Italian counterpart Gorizia.

24 Feb 2021, 12:05 PM

STA, 24 February 2021 - Slovenian cross-country skier Anamarija Lampič has been awarded the small crystal globe as the overall World Cup winner in the women's sprint discipline as the International Ski Federation (FIS) decided to cut the season short after seven sprint events being held, with Lampič leading the standings.

After seven World Cup sprint events, the Slovenian has 402 points, well ahead of Nadine Faehndrich of Switzerland (296) and Linn Svahn of Sweden (275).

Lampič is only second Slovenian ever to win a small crystal globe in the Cross-Country World Cup, after Petra Majdič won it in the sprint discipline three times - in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Her previous best was third place last season.

The 25-year-old, who was declared the 2020 Slovenian female athlete of the year, will also be one of the main favourites at the Nordic World Ski Championships, which opened today in Germany's Oberstdorf.

She will appear in her first competition in Oberstdorf on Thursday as the women's classic sprint is on schedule.

"Medal is the goal. Only that counts at world championships. I will not be very devastated if I don't get it, but I will do everything to at least make it to the finals, and then a podium finish will be possible," Lampič said.

Lampič, who was second in the World Cup sprint event at the same course last year, is coming off a World Cup win in team sprint in pair with Eva Urevc in Sweden on 7 February. The pair was also third in a December World Cup race in Dresden.

14 Feb 2021, 09:24 AM

STA, 13 February 2021 - Two avalanches were triggered in the area of Mt Storžič (2,132 metres) in the western part of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps mountain range on Saturday, burying four climbers. Three died at the scene and one sustained severe injuries, the Administration for Civil Protection and Disatser Relief says on its website. Two rescuers were also injured.

The first avalanche happened at 10:40am and buried two climbers on their way to Mt Storžič. Both sustained injuries so severe that they died on the scene.

Robert Kralj, the head of the police mountain unit, told the press that the avalanche also buried two other climbers up to their waist but the pair was not injured. They called for help.

As soon as they dug themselves out they started rescue procedures themselves, added Sašo Rožič from the Tržič mountain rescue service.

During the rescue operation involving mountain rescuers, police, army and a medical team, another avalanche was triggered about three hours later higher up the mountain, engulfing two other climbers.

One of them died at the scene, while the other sustained serious injuries.

Rescuers were informed of the new avalanche via radio. While trying to escape the second avalanche, two of the rescuers were injured. A rescuer from the medical team sustained severe injuries.

The three victims and the two injured were brought to the valley by an army helicopter.

Rožič said 24 rescuers and three avalanche rescue dogs had been involved in the rescue operation. Two army and police helicopters were also activated. Rožič could not say whether the injured and deceased had been experienced climbers or not, but they were the only climbers in the area today, according to official information.

According to Primorski Dnevnik, a Slovenian skier was also killed today in an avalanche in Sella Nevea, Friuli Venezia Giulia, on the Italian side of Mt Kanin. Two other Slovenians who were with him were not injured.

The Kranj police warned against hiking and climbing in the mountains in the current extreme weather conditions.

The danger of avalanches at altitudes of up to 1,800 metres is level three, considerable, while at higher altitudes it is high, level four. Temperatures in the mountains are at around -20 degrees Celsius with strong northerly and north-easterly winds.

07 Feb 2021, 15:32 PM

STA, 7 February 2021 - Slovenian cross-country skiers Eva Urevc and Anamarija Lampič won the women's World Cup team sprint event in Ulricehamn, in Sweden on Sunday in their biggest feat ever after finishing third in the same discipline in Dresden in December.

The Slovenian pair beat Sweden's team featuring Saturday's sprint event winner Maja Dahlqvist and the top sprinter of the past season Linn Svahn, by 18 hundredths of a second.

Swiss skiers Laurien van der Graaf and Nadine Fähndrich came in third.

Urevc and Lampič were in third and forth position for most of the final heat, but Lampič powered on in the final meters of the race to cross the finish line first, 0.21 seconds ahead of Svahn, 0.28 seconds clear of Fähndrich and 0.34 seconds ahead of Jessie Diggins of the US.

This was after the Slovenian pair placed third in the semi-finals behind the Swedish and US teams.

25 Jan 2021, 13:39 PM

STA, 24 January 2021 - The Slovenian ski resort of Rogla will host a part of this year's Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships, with the parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom disciplines to be held there on 1 and 2 March.

The Slovenian Ski Association has announced that Rogla will host this segment of the snowboarding competitions of the championship after the original hosts in China cancelled the event, scheduled for February, altogether.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) then split the event into several segments and determining new hosts, awarding the parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom to Rogla.

This will be the first time that the resort in north-eastern Slovenia will host the world championship in snowboarding. It will also host a World Cup event on 6 March.

23 Jan 2021, 18:15 PM

STA, 23 January 2021 - Slovenian women's ski jumpers Ema Klinec, Špela Rogelj, Urša Bogataj in Nika Križnar won Saturday's World Cup team event, in what is their first-ever team event win. The victory comes after they finished second at the same venue, in Slovenia's Ljubno ob Savinji, in 2019 and 2020.

Having led already after the first series, they finished as many as 17.9 points ahead of second placed Norway while Austria's team placed third.

"This is a historic victory for Slovenian ski jumping. I'm glad it's a team victory, because it means the most to me," head coach Zoran Zupančič told the press after he dared to forecast on Friday the girls would win today.

He said Ema Klinec did a great job with the first jump, leading the way for the entire team. He admitted it was a good tactical move to pick her for the first jump.

He also thanked all his predecessors and all the girls who had helped make Slovenia one of the leading nations in ski jumping.

Zupančič is confident that "we can look forward to tomorrow's individual event", which will feature seven Slovenian ski jumpers.

Friday's qualifications attracted to Ljubno a record 76 ski jumpers from 17 countries.

Although World Cup ski-jumping brings 10-15 thousand visitors to Ljubno, this year it is held without spectators due to the coronavirus epidemic.

* Results:

  1. Slovenia 1064.8 points
  2. Norway 1046.9
  3. Austria 1028.9
  4. Japan 989.6
  5. Germany 968.0
  6. Russia 925.6
  7. France 882.1
  8. Poland 864.6
06 Jan 2021, 13:15 PM

STA, 6 January 2020 - The World Boxing Federation (WBF) has declared Slovenia's Ema Kozin the best WBF woman boxer of the year 2020, while her coach Rudi Pavlin has in turn been declared the best WBF coach in the last year. This is a second WBF award for Kozin, who last year won the award for the best women's fight of the year.

The win in the tough fight with Chris Namus of Uruguay in mid-October is what brought the Slovenian the accolade and helped her succeed Nicole Wesner of Germany as the best WBF women boxer.

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With the victory, Kozin has retained WBF and WIBA middleweight titles and has won the vacant WBC interim middleweight title.

Her coach Rudi Pavlin has meanwhile succeeded Thomas Hanshaw of the US as the WBF coach of the year.

"This is a nice recognition for our small team. This provides you with a new momentum and motivation, which is very important after 2020, which was special because of coronavirus," Pavlin told the STA about the award.

The coach noted that last year was really difficult because of cancelled and postponed fights, but Kozin "has won the champion title in the WBC organisation and we have opened a new chapter in her career, which has not gone unnoticed."

With the professional record of 20 wins, zero losses and one draw, the Slovenian is going strong into the new year.

"A path to the US is opening up, and we also have offers for fights in Panama, but the things related to the pandemic need to be sorted out first," the coach said.

21 Dec 2020, 16:09 PM

The Prva Liga Telekom Slovenije reached the halfway mark last week, with heavyweights Maribor enjoying a slender lead at the summit of the table.

The 15-time Slovenian top-flight championships needed to come back from behind twice in their final encounter of 2020 on Sunday evening, rescuing a 2-2 draw with second-from bottom Aluminij to preserve their four-match unbeaten run.

Hosts Maribor were pegged back 22 minutes into the game as Alen Kranjc was played through on goal, forcing a smart save from goalkeeper Azbe Jug who could only parry the ball into the path of David Flakus Bosilj who passed the ball into an open net to give the visitors a surprise lead.

Aluminij’s 1-0 advantage lasted barely a minute as Jan Repas’ stunning strike from outside the box found the top corner to draw his side level.

‘The Purples’ found themselves a goal behind once more on the half-hour mark when, after conceding a free-kick just outside the penalty area, Roko Prša’s left-footed thunderbolt crashed in off the crossbar to put Aluminij ahead once more.

The first-half goals continue to rain in at Stadion Ljudski Vrt when seven minutes before the break, Denis Klinar’s pinpoint cross from the right flank was powerfully headed home by Rudi Požeg as he netted his fifth goal of the campaign.

In the second stanza, neither side’s defence was breached again as the spoils were shared in a 2-2 draw, with Maribor’s lead after 19 games cut to three points at the summit of the standings, while Aluminij remain in the relegation play-off position in ninth place.

Maribor have now won eight and drawn one of their ten previous games, the only blip on their record coming at the start of December when they were beaten 2-0 by capital club Olimpija.

Olimpija have been unbeaten since that clash, their 2-0 win over Gorica on Saturday leaving them breathing down Maribor’s necks in the title race, with third-placed Mura just two points further back following their 3-1 win over last season’s surprise league champions Celje.

Celje have struggled this term, and after three losses in four games towards the end of November, seemingly bounced back with consecutive wins over Gorica and Koper, yet the loss against Mura leaves them in a precarious 7th spot on the table.

Koper emerged victorious in an entertaining seven-goal thriller on Saturday, putting four past Tabor in a 4-3 victory which leaves them in fourth place on the log with just over half the season completed.

League table.jpg

Table: Twitter @PrvaLigaSi

After 19 games played in the current 2020/21 season, Koper forward Nardin Mulahusejnović leads the goalscoring charts with nine goals so far, closely followed by Domžale’s Dario Kolobaric and Olimpija duo Dorde Ivanović and Andres Vombergar with eight goals apiece.

The Slovenian league will now recess for the Christmas break, with the league’s return date set for January 20.

13 Dec 2020, 18:52 PM

STA, 13 December 2020 - Norway won the team event at the Ski Flying World Championships at Slovenia's Planica on Sunday, overtaking Germany in the last round as Halvor Egner Granerud performed better than Karl Geiger, who beat the Norwegian yesterday in the individual event. Slovenia bounced back from the turmoil in their ranks by finishing fourth.

The Norwegian team thus defended their gold medal from the previous Ski Flying World Championships to earn the fifth medal for the nation in team events.

After Geiger won the individual event and his counterpart Markus Eisenbichler finished third on Saturday, Germany were considered favourites to win their first team event, and they were actually at the very top all the way until the last round.

But Granerud turned the things around in the last jump, bringing Norway's total tally to 1,727.7 points, against Germany's 1,708.5. The bronze medal went to Poland, which scored 1665.5 points.

Following turmoil in the national team that saw jumper Timi Zajc and head coach Gorazd Bertoncelj leaving the team on Saturday, Peter Prevc returned to the squad to help Slovenia take the forth place (1,609.9 points).

The remaining four teams were far behind - Japan (5th) scored 1,483.5 points, followed by Austria (1,422.1), Russia (1,356.3) and Finland (1,284.8).

13 Dec 2020, 14:06 PM

STA, 13 December 2020 - Martin Čater won the World Cup season opening downhill in France's Val d'Iser on Sunday in what is the first podium finish for the 27-year-old, who entered the race with the start number 41.

In a sensational feat, Čater headed down the piste two hours into the race but his perfect line in excellent conditions allowed him to take the lead of the pack.

He finished the race 0.22 seconds ahead of Austria's Otmar Striedinger in second and 0.27 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Urs Kryenbühl in third.

"I still cannot believe it. I thought I was fast, I really had a good run, but I still couldn't believe it was enough for a victory," the incredulous Čater told reporters.

"There's been a lot of fresh snow and the organizers did their best to prepare an excellent, bump-free, smooth track, ideal in fact as I had every good conditions despite the high start number."

He said that he was in shock himself when he crossed the finish line and looked at the results board.

"Incredible sensations. I hope I won't change a thing going into the next race and keep my focus," he said.

Čater is only the third Slovenian male World Cup downhill winner since independence after Andrej Jerman, who has two wins, and Boštjan Kline, who secured the most recent one in 2017.

His personal World Cup downhill best so far was 8th in Wengen in 2019 and his World Cup best 6th spot in the Wengen alpine combined in January this year. At the super-G event yesterday he failed to get any points at all.

12 Dec 2020, 20:20 PM

STA, 12 December 2020 - Germany's Karl Geiger won the individual event of the Ski Flying World Championship at Slovenia's Planica with a total of 877.2 points after a nail-biting finish in which the second-placed Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway fell behind by only half of a point after four rounds of jumping.

Geiger led from start to finish as the individual event started with two rounds on Friday and wrapped up on Saturday with another two rounds.

The German had an advantage of 7.7 points heading into the last round but Granerud saved his best jump for the last round, soaring to the 243-metre mark for the second-longest jump so far at the championships.

Geiger responded with a 231.5-metre effort to stay in the first place by a whisker, winning 877.2 points against the Norwegian's 876.7 points. The ski flying title thus returns to Germany after Severin Freund won it in 2004.

"There was a lot of pressure. It felt good already after the first jump, but I was aware that I had to stay focused until the last jump. This is unbelievable. I really felt good right from the get-go," Geiger told reporters.

Finishing third to win the bronze medal was Markus Eisenbichler of Germany, who shook off Michael Hayböck of Austria with a 230-metre jump to earn 859.3 points and leave the Austrian more than 14 points behind.

The best Slovenian in the first three rounds, Anže Lanišek, further improved in the last round to finish 12th with 777.2 points, after managing his best jump of all four rounds of 228 metres.

Bor Pavlovčič finished in the 20th place with 715.5 points, and Domen Prevc was right behind him with 712.7 points.

There were four Slovenian competitors in the first two rounds on Friday, but Timi Zajc has been kicked out of the national team following an exchange with head coach Gorazd Bertoncelj, who has also left the team.

Slovenia will appear in Sunday's team event though, as Zajc will be replaced by Peter Prevc, who is returning to the Planica "bubble" after failing to make the team for the individual event.

Robert Hrgota, the former ski jumper and Bertoncelj's deputy, who had to jump in as the new leader after the discord in the Slovenian team, said after the individual event that Slovenians were going for a podium finish in the team event.

"Anže showed yesterday and today that he is close to the top. He is the bright star at the moment and we are happy that we have a strong trump card who will also fight tomorrow to help Slovenia rank high," he added.

In the statement for the national broadcaster TV Slovenija, the interim head coach added that the "battle for the podium will take place until the last jump. There are eight jumps in the team event and many things can happen."

* Final standings of the individual event at Planica:
 1 Karl Geiger (GER)           877.2 pts (241/223.5/240.5/231.5 m)
 2 Halvor Egner Granerud (NOR) 876.7 (221/229.5/239/243)
 3 Markus Eisenbichler (GER)   859.3 (220/247/234.5/230)
 4 Michael Hayböck (AUT)       845.1 (245.5/217/237.5/220.5)
 5 Robert Johansson (NOR)      841.0 (220/228.5/228/232)
 6 Yukiya Sato (JAP)           835.1 (222/229/228/229)
 7 Piotr Žyla (POL)            828.6 (221.5/224.5/227/224.5)
 8 Kamil Stoch (POL)           808.5 (213/229/223/222.5)
 9 Evgeni Klimov (RUS)         802.2 (237/208/222.5/220)
10 Andrzej Stekala (POL)       792.4 (224.5/215.5/224.5/212)
...
12 Anže Lanišek (SLO)          777.2 (196/218,5/215.5/228)
20 Bor Pavlovčič (SLO)         715.5 (207/198/207/203.5)
21 Domen Prevc (SLO)           712.7 (206/206.5/206.7/207.5)
...
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