(E) Golden Janica Croatia's first ever Winter Olympics GOLD
Croatia's Kostelic Storms to Alpine Combined Gold Thu Feb 14, 5:38 PM ET
SNOWBASIN, Utah (Reuters) - Janica Kostelic stormed to the top of the podium Thursday, winning the women's combined gold for Croatia's first ever Winter Olympics (news - web sites) medal.
Reuters Photo Kostelic, the 2001 overall World Cup champion who has undergone extensive knee surgery in the past year, dominated the slalom and then held on in the downhill to beat Austria's Renate Goetschl by 1.49 seconds.
Germany's Martina Ertl, the silver medallist from Nagano, put team discord behind her to take the bronze medal 1.88 behind the winner.
Kostelic, still only 20, was fastest in both slalom runs but it was an open question as to whether she could hold off former downhill world champion Goetschl in the speed event.
Goetschl, bronze medallist in the individual downhill, did her best with a time of 1:15.27 but Kostelic then followed her down the mountain in a brisk 1:16.00.
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