Anja Paerson back on track

January 29th, 2010

Over a year after her 40th World Cup win in Austria, Anja Paerson finally managed to win another major competition today at St. Moritz where she captured the second Super-combined of the season thanks two strong runs in Super-G and slalom.

The 28-year-old finished ahead of Austria’s promising Michaela Kirchgasser and top-favourite Lindsey Vonn who didn’t take extra risks in the slalom run to be sure to score some ‘heavy points’ in that event after Maria Riesch’s DNF in the Super-G leg.

After a slow season start, Anja picked-up momentum late December and reached her first podium finish in downhill at Haus im Ennstal, Austria earlier this month. She added more top-3 results afterwards, even in giant slalom at Maribor for the first time since 2007.

Two more podium finishes at Cortina d’Ampezzo last weekend put Paerson in the right mind frame for another ‘coup’ at St. Moritz where she has always felt herself particularly comfortable.

“I won so many races here, including gold in giant slalom at the 2003 Worlds, that I am very confident while moving on those slopes,” she explained after her latest triumph. “I won three times here and I just like skiing this hill. The snow conditions are mostly excellent and I feel very serene in that place. That strong sense of harmony which I have here is crucial for my mental balance. It also helps me to be more focused and very efficient on my skis.”

“My Super-G run this morning was OK - nothing special, but my slalom was excellent. I have been looking forward for a long time for that sentiment of confidence and to be able to attack the course the way I want to. My slalom season has been pretty frustrating so far, especially in recent weeks with a series of bad results in Zagreb and Flachau and then Maribor.”

“But today I found back a good timing and I skied pretty hard. I’m really pleased with my skiing which was finally good enough to help me winning again. Even though I’m now a veteran with so many great results, I keep on feeling tense and nervous until celebrating again a victory. I know that things can keep on improving for me in the next weeks.”

In Saturday’s downhill and in Sunday’s Super-G events, Anja will again be fighting for victory on the same slope – another strong result would just be perfect ten days prior the start of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. A two-time Overall World Cup champion, Paerson also clinched eight gold medals since 2001 – including one at the 2006 Olympics in slalom at Sestriere.

She surely aims to increase her collection in Canada.