- Alpine Skiing
Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch harnesses her speed to grab silver in Sochi super-G
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Maria Hoefl-Riesch was almost skiing too fast for her own good.
Approaching the last jump on a tricky Olympic super-G course Saturday, the German racer had established a 0.14-second lead on eventual gold medalist Anna Fenninger of Austria.
- Full even replay – women’s super-G
- Anna Fenninger leaves field in her ‘cheetah dust’
- Anna Fenninger discusses her super-G gold
- Maria Hoefl-Riesch adds SG silver to combi gold
- Nicole Hosp holds on for super-G bronze
- Julia Mancuso eighth in super-G
- Women’s super-G medal ceremony
"My equipment was incredibly good. I was almost going too fast at the finish jump, I jumped so far I could not get the right direction to make the next gate," Hoefl-Riesch said. "Then the race was done for me. I just tried to stay in the race but I never thought it would be good enough for a medal."
Somehow, Hoefl-Riesch did make the next gate after landing that jump — the first part of the course visible to spectators in the finish area — and she finished 0.55 seconds behind Fenninger to claim the silver medal. She also won gold in super-combined and has two more races to go — giant slalom and slalom.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Sochi Olympics: Women's super-G
Hoefl-Riesch doesn't count herself among the favorites for the giant slalom. And while she's the defending champion in slalom, she's not able to dedicate training time to that event like specialists Mikaela Shiffrin and Marlies Schild do.
"The races with my biggest chances are behind us now," Hoefl-Riesch said. "No matter what happens next week, I go home very happy."
Hoefl-Riesch should also be happy about her career record at the Olympics. In a combined eight races at the 2010 Vancouver Games and these games, she has won three golds, one silver, and finished outside the top 10 only once — when she was 13th in Wednesday's downhill.
Only two Alpine skiers have won four golds at the Olympics — Janica Kostelic and Kjetil Andre Aamodt.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Sochi Olympics: Women's super-G medal ceremony
"You win a medal or nothing, and everybody knows that," Wolfgang Maier, Germany's Alpine director, said.
Long before she reached that final jump, Hoefl-Riesch had to navigate an extra obstacle — a course worker who was fixing a gate. She said it really didn't affect her skiing, because she saw that the worker was moving away from where she was skiing just in time.
"You always look one gate ahead so I saw him," she said. "But he was not on the race line so it didn't irritate me."
With Hoefl-Riesch's two medals, the German ski team is on course to match its haul from 2010, when it won a total of three — two golds for Hoefl-Riesch and another gold for Viktoria Rebensburg in the giant slalom.
Embedded video_content_type: Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch gold again
Rebensburg finished ninth Saturday and will again be a threat in Tuesday's giant slalom. On the men's side, technical specialist Felix Neureuther suffered whiplash in a car crash on Friday and was forced to delay his departure from Germany for a day.
"We knew before we come here that we can win — if everything works well — three medals," Maier said.
Best of Sochi
Best of Day 3