Kostelic breaks season points record
Mar. 19, 2006 12:00 AM
Janica Kostelic won the women's World Cup giant slalom finale Saturday at Are, Sweden, and broke the record of Pernilla Wiberg for the number of points in a single season. Kostelic, who clinched the World Cup overall title on Thursday, ended the season with 1,970 points after the last of 36 races. Sweden's Wiberg had 1,960 points in the 1996-97 season. The Croat needed to win Saturday's giant slalom to break the record. "That's cool, right?" Kostelic said. "Maybe next year someone will say '10 more points and we'll beat Janica's record.' It's good to be one of those people whose record has to be beaten. I'm on top now, so it's great." Anja Paerson clinched the World Cup giant slalom title by finishing ahead of Maria Jose Rienda Contreras. Rienda Contreras, who had hoped to give Spain its first World Cup title, had entered the race trailing Paerson by 45 points.
Kostelic breaks record
Most points for a single season
By ERICA BULMAN
Kostelic's brother criticizes Swedish organizers
Janica Kostelic of Croatia speeds down the course on her way to win an Alpine Ski World Cup Women's giant slalom, at the World Cup finals, in Are, Sweden, Saturday, March,18, 2006. (AP Photo/Enrico Lodi)
ARE, Sweden (AP) - Janica Kostelic won the women's World Cup giant slalom finale Saturday to break the record for points in a single season.
Kostelic ended the season with 1,970 points after 36 races, surpassing former Swedish ski star Pernilla Wiberg's mark of 1,960 points in the 1996-97 season. Kostelic had needed to win the giant slalom to break the record.
Sweden's Anja Paerson finished seventh to clinch the World Cup giant slalom title. Her only remaining challenger, Maria Jose Rienda Contreras finished eighth. Contreras, who had hoped to give Spain its first World Cup title, entered the race trailing Paerson by 45 points.
It marked Paerson's sixth career World Cup title. She won the overall in the two previous seasons, and has one slalom and three giant slalom globes.
"When I stood up there before the second run I was tired," Paerson said. "But I thought this could be the last race in a long time so I just wanted to enjoy it and have fun and I did.
"I ended the season the way I wanted. I won the downhill here and won the giant slalom World Cup."
Croatia's Kostelic, who led after the opening run, finished with an aggregate two-run time of 2 minutes, 6.41 seconds.
Canada's Genevieve Simard moved from third into second in 2:07.02 with a strong second run. Austria's Nicole Hosp, who was second after the opening run, tied for third with Tanja Poutiainen in 2:07.95.
Paerson, who last year edged Kostelic by three points for the overall title, was runner-up with 1,662. Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria, who is retiring, finished third with 1,364 points.
Paerson topped the season-ending giant slalom standings with 586 points. Contreras was second with 537, while Kostelic finished third with 464.
Kostelic clinched the World Cup overall title on Thursday with a fourth-placed finish in the final super-G, and won the slalom title in Levi, Finland, last week.
AP Sports Writer Stephan Nasstrom in Are, Sweden, contributed to this report.