Sport

12 Feb 2019, 10:15 AM

STA, 11 February 2019 - Štefan Hadalin won the silver medal in the combined at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Sweden's Aare on Monday in what is the first medal for Slovenian male skiers since Mitja Kunc's bronze in the slalom in 2001.

The 23-year-old Slovenian was second only to Alexis Pinturault of France, while third place went to Marco Schwarz of Austria.

Hadalin was far back in 30th place after the downhill but had a superb performance in the slalom part of the event for what is by far his greatest career achievement.

His previous best at world championships was 10th place in the slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 2017.

This is the second medal for Slovenia at the World Championships in Sweden after Ilka Štuhec won gold in the women's downhill on Sunday.

10 Feb 2019, 16:01 PM

STA, 10 February 2019 - Slovenian ski star Ilka Štuhec won the downhill at the Skiing World Championships on Sunday, defending her title and achieving the highlight of her career.

The 22nd World Championship medal for Slovenia marks a dream comeback for the 28-year-old, who returned to competition this season after sitting out the entire previous season due to a knee injury.

Štuhec finished the shortened course - it was cut by almost a quarter due to bad weather - in 1 minute, 1.74 seconds, 0.23 seconds ahead of Corinne Sutter of Switzerland.

Lindsey Vonn bid farewell to professional skiing with a surprise third place, half a second adrift.

Due to the shortened course, the downhill was widely expected to be just the latest in a series of very tight races this year, making Štuhec's 0.23-second gap all the more impressive.

Štuhec has also become first woman to defend the downhill World Championship title in downhill thirty years.

The Maribor native said she knew she was able to ski fast, she just "needed the confidence to ski and enjoy".

"I felt super determined at the start to just throw myself into it," she said.

"I am yet to realize what I have done again. I just stood on the start, ready to ski and enjoy, and I did it."

Having already won three downhill podiums this season, Štuhec entered the event as one of the favourites despite a dismal 8th place in the super-G and tenth place in the combined.

Vonn had set a great time before her with an excellent second half of the race, but Štuhec excelled throughout the course to carve out the decisive advantage.

Despite initially wanting to appear in the giant slalom, Štuhec will leave Aare to focus on the rest of the season and the remaining three downhill World Cup races.

She is currently third in the overall downhill rankings behind the Austrians Ramona Siebenhofer and Nicole Schmidhofer.

09 Feb 2019, 17:22 PM

STA, 9 February 2019 - Germany won the women's team ski jumping team event in Ljubno on Saturday, with the home crowd favourites finishing second ahead of Austria.

The winning team of Carina Vogt, Anna Ruprecht, Juliane Seyfrath and Katharina Althaus just exceeded the 1,000-point mark, with the Slovenians just over 25 points adrift.

"It was great. We're glad we managed to win the second team event," Althaus said after her team won the second team event this season.

For the Slovenians the team silver is the second podium finish in as many days after Urša Bogataj's third place in the individual event yesterday.

The best Slovenian today was Nika Križnar with 91.5 and 93.5 metres, the longest jump of the day.

This raises the prospects of another top result for team Slovenia at the individual event tomorrow, which is expected to attract several thousand fans, just like today's event.

"I'm speechless, I landed two great jumps. I'm really very pleased and can't wait to attack tomorrow," Križnar said.

08 Feb 2019, 20:31 PM

STA, 8 February - Norwegian Maren Lundby is the winner of the first Ski Jumping World Cup event held in Ljubno od Savinji on Friday. Japan's Sara Takanashi was second, while Slovenian Urša Bogataj was third.

Lundby earned 268,9, Takanashi tallied 263.7 points and Bogataj 262.6.

Four other Slovenian jumpers also competed in Ljubno today, all making it to the final round.

Nika Križnar (257.2p) was sixth, Špela Rogelj (240.5p) was 14th, Jerneja Brecl (226.7p) was 24th, while Katra Komar (225.9p) was a spot behind her.

Three ski jumping events will take place in Ljubno this weekend. A team competition is scheduled for tomorrow, and another individual event for Sunday.

* Results:
 1 Maren Lundby (Nor)       268.9 (90.5 m/90.5 m)
 2 Sara Takanashi (Jap)     263.7 (90.0 m/88.5 m)
 3 Urša Bogataj (Slo)       262.6 (91.0 m/89.0 m)
 4 Katharina Althaus (Ger)  260.9 (89.5 m/88.0 m)
 5 Juliane Seyfarth (Ger)   260.4 (87.5 m/88.5 m)


* World Cup Standings, overall points (15/24):
 1 Maren Lundby (Nor)           1088
 2 Katharina Althaus (Ger)       917
 3 Sara Takanashi (Jap)          706
 4 Juliane Seyfarth (Ger)        686
 5 Carina Vogt (Ger)             506
08 Feb 2019, 11:47 AM

STA, 8 February 2019 - Three events will be held in the Slovenian town of Ljubno ob Savinji as part of the Ski Jumping World Cup for women, starting on Friday with the first of the two individual events. A total of 62 competitors from a record 18 countries are expected.

The Savina Ski Jumping Centre will see all top competitors this season bar Austrian Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (illness) and Slovenia's Ema Klinec (injury).

In-between Friday's and Sunday's individual events, a team event will be held on Saturday, featuring nine teams, including the Slovenian team headlined by Nika Križnar, the best Slovenian this World Cup season.

Križnar, who is currently 8th in the World Cup standings, will be joined by another five Slovenian women ski jumpers at the 94-metre hill, at which Iraschko-Stolz holds the record with a 96.5-metre jump in 2017.

"I'm really happy that we'll be able to welcome the world elite also this year," Rajko Pintar, the head of the organising committee, said of the event, hosted by the town in northern Slovenia for the eight time.

"We are ready and the interest is great," he said, adding that the weather was expected to be nice and that between four and five thousand spectators were expected to show up.

Much is expected from the Slovenian team, which is missing its best member Ema Klinec, who had two podium finishes at the start of the season before suffering an injury in December.

Križnar will now be the main favourite for Slovenia and the new head coach Zoran Zupančič admits that "there is some nervousness ahead of the competition at home". "We've been in a competitive rhythm since the New Year's and we're stepping up our form nicely."

Križnar said that the main favourites would be Maren Lundby of Norway, Sara Takanashi of Japan and Katharina Althaus of Germany. "But I hope I'll be able to compete for the medals myself," added the 18-year-old.

Starting time Feb. 8th (NH): 14.00

Starting time Feb. 9th (Team): 14.00

Starting time Feb. 10th (NH): 14.00

08 Feb 2019, 10:30 AM

STA, 7 February 2019 - Slovenian lawyer Aleksander Čeferin was unanimously re-elected to head UEFA as the European football's governing body met for a congress in Rome on Thursday. Čeferin, the only candidate for the post, was elected for a four-year term.

The 51-year-old has led the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since September 2016, when following corruption scandals, it was looking for a clean slate to regain its reputation.

While relatively unknown in football circles when bidding for the office in 2016, Čeferin has grown to be a respected football official.

Pundits says he has managed to steer among different interests during his first term, which has earned him the reputation of a good leader.

In his address to the congress, Čeferin outlined the achievements from the past two and a half years and pointed to major challenges ahead.

Looking back, he said "a crisis often brings an opportunity for new successes", stressing UEFA was united again and financially more successful than any time before.

UEFA's revenue will reach a record 5.7 billion euro in the coming financial year, an annual increase of 25%, yet achievements should not lull it into inactivity.

"In the fast-changing world we need to constantly adapt, in no way can current achievements be an excuse not to take effective measures for the challenges ahead."

He said the main challenges were the development of competition formates where club football and national football should be seen as opponents, women's football, and a constructive cooperation with FIFA on the development of global football which will be aligned with the interests of European football.

Here Čeferin reiterated that cooperation with FIFA should be based on open dialogue.

While FIFA is pushing for a Global Nations' League and an expanded Club World Cup, UEFA is opposed to these ideas.

He also stressed that Europe would like to host the World Cup in 2030. "With our unity, we'll try to do all in our power for the 2030 World Cup to be held in Europe."

Since Čeferin had no rival at the Rome congress, the delegates from 55 national football associations did not vote on his candidacy, but appointed him by acclamation.

"Thank you for your trust. I'm moved and proud," Čeferin said after the re-election.

03 Feb 2019, 15:41 PM

STA, 2 February 2019 - The Alpine Ski World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin of the US won the slalom part of the Golden Fox on Saturday to complete a double win in Maribor and come even closer to the absolute record in wins in a single World Cup season.

After splitting the win in the giant slalom race on Friday with Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, Shiffrin was too dominant in the slalom, earning a one-second advantage over Vlhova already in the first run to finish in 1:42.60.

Anna Swenn-Larsson of Sweden was second (+0.77) and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was third (+1.15). Vlhova finished fifth (+1.70) after being second in the fist run.

With another victory, the 23-year-old American has increased her win total in the World Cup this season to 13 to remain in play for beating the absolute record in wins in a single season.

The winner of the last three slalom races in Maribor is on pace to beat Vreni Schneider of Switzerland, who won a record 14 events in 1988-89. It was the win number 56 for Shiffrin in the World Cup.

"It was an amazing weekend! For some people watching it feels like I'm used to this but it's not, it's always a fight, every race is a fight," she told the Slovenian national television after the win.

The only Slovenians in the second run were Meta Hrovat (+2.76), who finished 11th for her best career slalom result in the World Cup, and Ana Bucik, who was 24th (+3.84).

Hrovat was sixth overall at the Golden Fox after finishing 8th in Friday's giant slalom for her best ever result in Maribor.

"I'm very happy with Hrovat's success, she is stepping up her form excellently. She keeps the same quality in the giant slalom and slalom, which is a progress," said Denis Šteharnik, the head coach of the Slovenian women's team for technical disciplines.

The slalom at the 55th Golden Fox was the last event for ladies in the World Cup before the Alpine Ski World Championships in Are, Sweden (5-17 February).

* Results of the World Cup slalom event in Maribor:
 1 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)     1:42.60     50.05 52.55
 2 Anna Swenn-Larsson (SWE)   1:43.37 +00.77 51.14 52.23
 3 Wendy Holdener (SUI)       1:43.75 +01.15 51.95 51.80
 4 Frida Hansdotter (SWE)     1:43.94 +01.34 51.62 52.32
 5 Petra Vlhova (SVK)         1:44.30 +01.70 51.05 53.25
 6 Bernadette Schild (AUT)    1:44.71 +02.11 52.30 52.41
 7 Kristin Lysdahl (NOR)      1:44.97 +02.37 52.03 52.94
 8 Chiara Costazza (ITA)      1:45.25 +02.65 52.52 52.73
 9 Katharina Truppe (AUT)     1:45.27 +02.67 52.80 52.47
10 Christina Geiger (GER)     1:45.32 +02.72 52.28 53.04
11 Meta Hrovat (SLO)          1:45.36 +02.76 53.43 51.93
   Katharina Huber (AUT)      1:45.36 +02.76 53.57 51.79

- Overall standings (after 26 of 37 events):
  1 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)      1,694
  2 Petra Vlhova (SVK)          1,043
  3 Wendy Holdener (SUI)          747
  4 Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT)      617
  5 Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)      589
  6 Viktoria Rebensburg (GER)     509
  7 Ilka Štuhec (SLO)             507
  8 Federica Brignone (ITA)       500
  9 Frida Hansdotter (SWE)        497
 10 Michelle Gisin (SUI)          442

- Slalom standings (after 9 of 11 events):
 1 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)        860
 2 Petra Vlhova (SVK)            725
 3 Wendy Holdener (SUI)          485
 4 Frida Hansdotter (SWE)        348
 5 Anna Swenn-Larsson (SWE)      336
 6 Katharina Liensberger (AUT)   285
 7 Katharina Truppe (AUT)        255
 8 Bernadette Schild (AUT)       207
 9 Erin Mielzynski (CAN)         185
10 Irene Curtoni (ITA)           175
02 Feb 2019, 10:56 AM

STA, 1 February 2018 - Fresh off his first World Cup podium finish, 18-year-old ski jumper Timi Zajc posted his first victory as he surged to the top spot in a ski-flying event in Oberstdorf on Friday with a new personal record.

With jumps of 220 and 233.5 metres, Zajc beat the Pole Dawid Kubacki and the German Markus Eisenbichler for his second podium finish in a week.

The young competitor made his World Cup debut last season and has been the only outstanding performer in the otherwise lacklustre Slovenian team this year.

The remaining Slovenian competitors placed between 19th and 24th places today.

Zajc is currently 8th in the overall World Cup rankings with 554 points.

Speaking to FIS, Zajc said after the win “This was a crazy day today with my Ski Flying debut, my personal best distance, and the win. What a great experience. The second place in Sapporo last weekend gave me additional motivation. In my opinion, the conditions today were difficult for everybody."

01 Feb 2019, 14:26 PM

STA, 1 February 2019 - 

The Alpine Ski World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin of the US and Petra Vlhova of Slovakia split the win at the giant slalom part of the Golden Fox event in Maribor on Friday as they finished the two runs with the same total time.

The 23-year-old American was almost half a second ahead of the Slovakian after the first run, but made some mistakes in the second to squander the advantage, with both finishing in 2:31.31.

Third place went to Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway, who finished 0.93 seconds behind the winners.

It was a win number five for Shiffrin at the Golden Fox and the third giant slalom win this season and second in a row.

With another victory, Shiffrin has increased her win total to twelve to remain in play for beating the absolute record in wins in a single season.

She is on pace to beat Vreni Schneider of Switzerland, who won a record 14 events in the 1988-89 season.

Shiffrin defended her win in last year's giant slalom event of the Golden Fox, which was hosted by the Kranjska Gora ski resort, and has the chance of repeating her double win from 2018 as she will also appear in Saturday's slalom.

"It was a fight in the second (run) and I almost lost it at the bottom, so it's always nice when you have this luck," Shiffrin was quoted by the French agency AFP.

Vlhova added that "we are always very close and today we can share first place, so it's good for everyone and I'm just happy."

The only Slovenians to make it to the second run were Meta Hrovat, who finished eighth (+2.39) for her best career result in Maribor, and the best Slovenian skier, the downhill specialist Ilka Štuhec, who was 20th (+3.75).

Hrovat, who earned her third top-10 career finish, while Štuhec was also relatively good given that it was her first giant slalom appearance in more than 22 months.

* Results of the World Cup giant slalom event in Maribor:
 1 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)        2:31.31        1:14.28 1:17.03
   Petra Vlhova (SVK)            2:31.31        1:14.76 1:16.55
 3 Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)      2:32.24 +00.93 1:15.48 1:16.76
 4 Wendy Holdener (SUI)          2:32.60 +01.29 1:15.89 1:16.71
 5 Sara Hector (SWE)             2:32.81 +01.50 1:15.37 1:17.44
 6 Frida Hansdotter (SWE)        2:32.97 +01.66 1:15.74 1:17.23
 7 Marta Bassino (ITA)           2:33.02 +01.71 1:15.38 1:17.64
 8 Meta Hrovat (SLO)             2:33.70 +02.39 1:15.87 1:17.83
 9 Tessa Worley (FRA)            2:33.71 +02.40 1:14.86 1:18.85
10 Kristin Lysdahl (NOR)         2:33.93 +02.62 1:16.70 1:17.23
...
20 Ilka Štuhec (SLO)             2:35.06 +03.75 1:17.90 1:17.16

- Overall standings (after 25 of 37 events):
  1 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)      1594
  2 Petra Vlhova (SVK)           998
  3 Wendy Holdener (SWI)         687
  4 Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT)     617
  5 Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)     589
  6 Viktoria Rebensburg (GER)    509
  7 Ilka Štuhec (SLO)            507
  8 Federica Brignone (ITA)      500
  9 Frida Hansdotter (SWE)       447
 10 Michelle Gisin (SWI)         442

- Giant slalom standings (after 6 events):
 1 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)        455
 2 Tessa Worley (FRA)            374
 3 Petra Vlhova (SVK)            318
 4 Federica Brignone (ITA)       310
 5 Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)      259
 6 Viktoria Rebensburg (GER)     255
 7 Stephanie Brunner (AUT)       195
 8 Wendy Holdener (SUI)          194
 9 Marta Bassino (ITA)           164
10 Frida Hansdotter (SWE)        149
01 Feb 2019, 10:26 AM

STA, 1 February 2019 - The annual Golden Fox meet will start in Maribor on Friday as part of the Alpine Ski World Cup caravan, with the US superstar Mikaela Shiffrin being the main favourite in the giant slalom and slalom events. The best Slovenian skier, the downhill specialist Ilka Štuhec, will make her appearance in the giant slalom.

Shiffrin, who is in a comfortable lead in the overall World Cup standing for ladies, will be by far the biggest star, having already won eleven races in the current season after winning a total of twelve in the entire last season.

The American will be going for her fourth overall victory at the Golden Fox, which consists of giant slalom and slalom events, after she managed the feat in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

The 55th Golden Fox is back to its traditional venue, the Pohorje Hill above Maribor, after being hosted last year by the Kranjska Gora resort due to the shortage of snow in Maribor. It was there that Shiffrin earned one of her double wins.

The American, who is not even 24 yet, has won a total of 54 World Cup events to currently stand fourth all time, only one win behind the third-placed Vreni Schneider of Switzerland.

Schneider won a record 14 events in a single season (1988-89), the feat Shiffrin could beat this year considering her almost unbeatable form.

Meanwhile, Slovenians will be looking for their first winner after the legendary Tina Maze took the overall win in 2013 as the last Slovenian to do so. Their chances are slim as the main contender, Ana Drev, is out for season due to knee injury.

This is one of the reasons why Štuhec, who is known as specialist for fast disciplines, has decided to appear in Friday's giant slalom, the discipline in which she very rarely competes. The giant slalom will be followed by the slalom on Saturday.

A total of 116 competitors have been registered for the two events, which will be covered by around 250 accredited journalists. The organisers expect at least 20,000 visitors to the two-day skiing festival.

Some high-profile guests are also expected in Maribor, including President Borut Pahor and some government ministers, as well as Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini.

Schedule

Friday

10.00: 1st run Giant slalom, between runs concert,

13.00: 2nd run Giant slalom

Saturday

10.00: 1st run Slalom, between runs performance,

13.00: 2nd run Slalom

FIS Alpine has a good YouTube channel, and may be showing the event live. If not, there’ll certainly be highlights soon after it ends.

 

28 Jan 2019, 11:52 AM

STA, 27 January 2019 - Timi Zajc, a 18-year-old ski jumping talent who made his World Cup debut in the last season, bagged his first medal in Japan's Sapporo. He won silver with 238.8 points, while gold went to Austria's Stefan Kraft (248.2 points) and bronze to Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi (236.6).

Zajc's previous best result was fifth place in Wisla, Poland, last November. "It's great! I'm very happy to have won my first medal. It was definitely worth to take the long journey to Japan," said Zajc, who won Slovenia its 203rd medal in ski jumping World Cup.

"I will never forget this day, my first podium result. I'm very happy with my jumps and I hope to continue in this style."

Other Slovenian ski jumpers did well too, with Anže Lanišek (224.6 points) finishing eleventh, Domen Prevc (220.4) 13th, Anže Semenič (198.6) 24th, and Tilen Bartol (178.4) 29th.

The team coach Gorazd Bertoncelj said this was the most successful event for the Slovenian team this season.

Slovenia will compete with seven ski jumpers in Oberstdorf next weekend.

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