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Maze wins race and overall World Cup

By Patrick Lang

MERIBEL, France (Reuters) - Tina Maze sealed her near-perfect Alpine skiing season with the overall World Cup when she won a women's super-combined event on Sunday.

Fastest in the morning downhill section, the Slovenian secured her position in the afternoon slalom to bag her ninth victory of the season in an aggregate time of one minute 59.54 seconds.

While Austrians Nicole Hosp and Michaela Kirchgasser were second and third, 0.82 and 0.90 behind respectively, all eyes were on Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch, the only skier still in a position to delay Maze's official crowning.

When the super-combined world champion straddled a gate and crashed towards the end of her slalom run, the 29-year-old Maze achieved her lifetime goal by winning the trophy.

With nine World Cup races left until the end of the season, Maze leads Hoefl-Riesch by 958 points and can no longer be caught as each victory awards 100 points.

With 1,844 points, the Slovenian is also widely expected to become the first woman to break the 2,000-points barrier and she could do so as early as next week in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with three races scheduled in the German resort.

Maze, the first Slovenian to win the overall World Cup, won the giant slalom world title in 2011 and the super-G world crown this month in Schladming and has taken the 2013 giant slalom World Cup.

(Editing by Clare Fallon)

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