Olympic Champion Hoefl-Riesch Wins Super-Combined World Title

Maria Hoefl-Riesch beat World Cup leader Tina Maze to win the women’s super-combined title at the world skiing championships in Austria.

Hoefl-Riesch, the reigning Olympic champion, had a time of 2 minutes, 39.92 seconds over two runs on the Streicher course in Schladming to beat Maze of Slovenia by 0.46 seconds. Austria’s Nicole Hosp finished third, one second off the pace.

Hoefl-Riesch, 28, was tied for fourth place after the downhill portion of the race, 0.20 seconds behind Maze and defending champion Anna Fenninger of Austria. The German then took the lead with a time of 50.71 seconds in the slalom run, with the co-leaders yet to come.

Fenninger, seeking to become the fifth woman to defend her world title, didn’t finish after straddling a gate on the top portion of the course. Maze, who won the super-G world title three days ago, was then unable to hold a slight lead she built early in her run and settled for the silver medal.

It’s the second world title for Hoefl-Riesch, who captured the slalom at the 2009 championships in Italy.

Hosp had the fastest slalom time of 49.93 seconds to move up from ninth to third place. Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser, Kathrin Zettel and Elisabeth Goergl took the next three spots.

American Lindsey Vonn, who won the last three super-combined World Cup titles, badly injured her knee earlier in the week and will miss the rest of the season.