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Alpine skiing: Leader Maze triumphs on home snow

Tina Maze of Slovenia celebrates after winning the World Cup Women's Slalom race in Maribor, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic
Tina Maze of Slovenia celebrates after winning the World Cup Women's Slalom race in Maribor, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

By Patrick Lang

MARIBOR, Slovenia (Reuters) - Tina Maze avenged the bitter disappointment of wasting her first chance on home snow the day before when she outclassed the rest of the field in a World Cup slalom on Sunday.

Beaten by 0.08 seconds by American Lindsey Vonn in Saturday's giant slalom, the Slovenian set the record straight to snatch her first slalom of the season in a combined time of one minute and 33.68.

Determined to do well at home in her greatest season by far, the runaway World Cup leader dominated both legs to the delight of the 15,000 fans at the finish and bagged her seventh victory of the season.

"This victory certainly is a season highlight for me, there is nothing more emotional than to win in front of your home crowd," the 29-year-old told reporters.

"I felt angry yesterday yet I have the feeling that this gave me that extra bit of energy that I needed to prevail today. I badly wanted to win that slalom.

Maze, on course to smash the symbolical 2,000 points mark in the overall World Cup standings, has won races in four of the five alpine skiing disciplines this season and is now only one podium short of the record number of medal spots in one season with 17 top three places.

"I'm always focusing on the next race, like Moscow next week, but I surely hope to keep that form to get more podium finishes and also to ski well at the worlds in Schladming," she said.

"It's for sure a great goal for me to have a great time and win some medals there but I have already reached much more than I ever expected this season."

Sweden's Frida Hansdotter collected her fourth runner-up spot of the season, 0.86 behind Maze, but refused to feel any frustration.

Tina was impressive again, she skied amazingly fast, she beat me nearly by a full second so there is nothing to be sorry about, she said.

"It's nice to be on the podium again. I know my day will come, maybe in Schladming, who knows?"

Austria's Kathrin Zettel was third, 1.13 adrift.

(Editing by Mark Meadows)

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