Alpine skiing: So close, but Kostelic record eludes Hoefl-Riesch

Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:17am EST
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By Martyn Herman

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Maria Hoefl-Riesch acknowledges her chances of winning a record-equaling fourth Olympic gold were wrecked by a high-velocity mistake when in sight of victory in Saturday's super-G.

The German flyer was fractionally ahead of eventual winner Anna Fenninger on the clock but a huge error over the final ridge cost her victory and a share of the women's Olympic medal record of Janica Kostelic.

Settling for silver, to go with the gold she won in the super combined, Hoefl-Riesch blamed herself rather than a course worker who came very close to her line towards the finish.

"I noticed him of course," said Hoefl-Riesch, who finished 0.55 seconds behind Austria's Fenninger and a tenth quicker than third-placed Nicole Hosp.

"You always look a gate ahead. I saw him but he didn't stand in my line, so it was no irritation for me. He was on the other side of the gate, he didn't bother me too much."

On the costly mistake on a section of the course that caused havoc throughout the race, she said she almost abandoned her run.

"I was on the verge of veering off. I didn't think I was this fast," she said. "It (the silver) was almost a bigger joy than the combined gold because it was such a surprise.

"I didn't expect that for the life of me. That's why I was so happy when I crossed the finish line."   Continued...

Second-placed Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch poses on podium during the flower ceremony for the women's alpine skiing Super G competition during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger