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19 Feb 2015
Olympic News
Olympic News

Fenninger and Maze take Olympic form into the Worlds

Anna Fenninger and Tina Maze –both Olympic champions at Sochi 2014 –were the stars of the show at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Colorado in February 2015, winning two gold medals apiece while engaging in an exciting back-and-forth battle throughout.

The epic clashes of Tina Maze (SLV) and Anna Fenninger (AUT) on the women’s Alpine ski circuit have enthralled skiing fans the world over for several years now, lighting up the Olympic Winter Games, World Championships and World Cup,

At Sochi 2014, the pair won three of he five Alpine events between them. Maze took gold in the downhill (jointly with France’s Dominique Grisin), and then edged Fenninger into second place in the giant slalom. The Austrian had earlier prevailed in the super-G.

Rivalry reprised

In February 2015, the latest instalment of their rivalry took place in Beaver Creek, Colorado (USA), as the on-song pair vied for top billing at the 43rd FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

As she had done in Sochi, Fenninger claimed a super-G gold medal, but Maze pushed her all the way, finishing just 3/100th of a second behind. Conversely, Maze confirmed her slight superiority in the downhill, with the difference between the rivals this time just 2/100th of second.

Maze then added the super combined world title – her fourth in four different disciplines – to her CV, while Fenninger ended up just outside the medals in fourth place. The Salzburg native would enjoy another moment in the sun, however, posting a time of 2:19.16 in the giant slalom that was enough to see off the challenge of 2010 Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg (GER). Maze, meanwhile, finished fifth.

When all was said and done, Maze and Fenninger, who are also involved in a close duel at the top of the 2014-2015 FIS World Cup standings, each departed American shores with two gold medals and a silver in their pockets.

Crystal globe combat

Maze, who has shone on the international circuit for well over a decade, collected Slovenia’s first-ever Winter Games silver medals at Vancouver 2010 by finishing second in the giant slalom and super-G, behind Rebensburg and Andrea Fischbacher (AUT) respectively.

During the 2012-2013 World Cup campaign, she recorded victories in all five Alpine ski disciplines and set a new points record – men and women combined – of 2414 on her way to capturing the large crystal globe. And in Sochi 2014, the versatile competitor took her total number of Olympic medals to four, including two golds.

Fenninger competes in all of the Alpine events except for the slalom. She made her major breakthrough in 2011, when she won the super combined at the World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER). In 2014, building on her Olympic success in Sochi, she topped the overall World Cup standings and sealed her place as Austria’s top current female skier.

Who will eventually gain the upper hand in 2015? All will be revealed after the final round of World Cup events in Méribel (FRA) in March.

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