Sunday, 29 January 2023

Croatian Skier Zrinka Ljutić Records First World Cup Podium Finish, Career Result for Leona Popović!

January 29, 2023 - A historic day for Croatian skiers as Zrinka Ljutić finishes on the podium for the first time and Leona Popović finishes fifth in the slalom at the World Cup in Špindlerův Mlyn on Sunday! 

Nineteen-year-old Zrinka Ljutić, who had a starting number of 17, was third in the first run. In the end, she finished 49 hundredths of a second behind the winner German Lena Duerr, who had a time of 1:30.91. American Mikaela Shiffrin was second, six-hundredths of a second behind Duerr. Leona Popović was 84 hundredths of a second behind the winner (1:31.75).

This is historic for Croatian skiing for many reasons. For starters, this is Ljutić's first podium finish of her career. So far, her best result at the World Cup was fifth place in Courchevel last year. Popović also achieved the best result of her career after winning fifth place today. She finished sixth place twice last year - in Levi and Schladming.

Ljutić thus secured the first podium finish for Croatian women's skiing after 16 years. This is also the first time after 18 years that Croatia has two skiers among the top ten (Janica Kostelić and Nika Fleiss were second and sixth, respectively). Never before have two Croatian representatives been in the World Cup's top 5. 

With today's result, Shiffrin secured the small Crystal Globe in the slalom but failed to achieve her 86th victory and equal the record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark for the number of wins at the World Cup.

In the standings of female slalom skiers, Shiffrin has 785 points, Swiss Wendy Holdener is in second with 530, and Petra Vlhova is in third with the same number of points. Popović is seventh with 237 points, and Ljutić is tenth with 190 points.

In the overall standings, Shiffrin is first with 1697 points, Vlhova is second with 966 points, and Swiss Lara Gut Behrami is third with 906 points. Popović is 28th and has 237 points, and Ljutić is 33rd with 208 points.


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Sunday, 12 December 2021

Croatian Skier Filip Zubčić Places 3rd in Val d'Isere, Best Career Slalom Result!

December 12, 2021 - Croatian skier Filip Zubčić achieved the best slalom result of his carer, placing third today in Val d'Isere!

Croatian skier Filip Zubčić was excellent in the World Cup in Val d'Isere on Sunday and achieved the best slalom result of his career in that discipline.

After placing 6th in the first run, the Croatian skier further improved his ranking at the French winter resort, finishing on the podium in third place. He was especially impeccable in the lower part of the track and entered the finish line as the first-place finisher.

Although he was unlucky on Saturday, a day later, Zubčić was brilliant in the first slalom of the season. Zubčić's best slalom ranking in the World Cup before this was fifth place.

"This is crazy. This is something I secretly hoped could happen this year, and here it is - now in the first race. I knew that I had progressed in slalom and that I could achieve the best results and I proved that today on one of the most difficult slalom tracks," said Zubčić after placing third in Val d'Isere.

Zubčić achieved this result after giving up on the giant slalom yesterday.

"The first run was great yesterday; the three of us separated, and I stumbled in the second run. I knew I had to take a risk from the start, I failed, but I stayed strong in my head. It didn’t depress me. I maintained a positive mentality, I rested and I knew that today was a new chance and race," said Zubčić.

Finally, the best Croatian skier reached the podium in slalom.

"Last year I always had a good first run, would screw up in the second, and would go into the third, fourth, fifth. But I wanted that to change. Today I was sixth in the first run, but I said to myself, yes, if I come in first, it could be the podium and in the end, it happened. Two people stumbled behind me, it's slalom, sometimes it's roulette," Zubčić concluded.

Matej Vidović also won slalom points and finished 19th in Val d'Isere.

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Saturday, 9 January 2021

Phenomenal Filip Zubčić Wins Second in Adelboden!

January 9, 2021 - Croatian skier Filip Zubčić wins second in Adelboden and achieved two second-place finishes, two days in a row!

For the second day in a row, and for the third time in his career in Adelboden, Filip Zubčić stepped onto the second pillar of the podium in the World Cup giant slalom race. Above him was only the incredible Frenchman Alexis Pinturault, who came to his third consecutive victory in this season's giant slalom, with just 26-hundredths ahead of the Zagreb skier.

Zubčić finished the first run in fifth place, just over one second behind the fastest - Swiss skier Loic Meillard. Zubčić was 72 hundredths slower than Pinturault, who had the second-best time.

With a traditionally aggressive and risky second run, Filip took the lead by beating the then leading Italian De Aleprandini by 80 hundredths of a second, which was the fourth-best time.

It was too difficult a task for Norwegian Alexander Aamodt Kilde and Swiss Marc Odermatt, who were better than Zubčić in the first run, but were almost half a second behind in the second.

Maestro Alexis Pinturault overcame the second race on the Chuenisbaergli slope without a single mistake and gave Loic Meillard a serious challenge.

The Swiss skier, who never won a giant slalom race, was on his way to second place, but made a big mistake in the middle of the course, completely lost speed and in the end, barely managed to reach third place with only a two-hundredths of a second advantage over compatriot Odermatt in fourth.

With his 33rd career victory and 17th in giant slalom races, Pinturault took the lead in the giant slalom standings with 440 points, 40 more than Odermatt. In third is Filip Zubčić, who reached 368 points on the seventh podium in his career.

The French skier also leads the standings for the Grand Crystal Globe with 675 points. Norwegian Aamodt Kilde is second with 560, and third is Odermatt with 501. Filip Zubčić is in fourth place with 455 points.

The skiers will fight for points in the slalom in Adelboden on Sunday, and Zubčić will be joined by the Croatian trio from Sljeme, Istok Rodeš, Matej Vidović, and Samuel Kolega. The first run is scheduled for 10:30 am, and the second at 1:30 pm.

Source: HRT

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Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Historic Day for Croatian Skiing: Four Croatian Skiers in 2nd Run of Snow Queen Trophy!

January 6, 2021 - After the ladies took on Sljeme on Sunday, a total of 55 male skiers competed in the first run of the Snow Queen Trophy in Zagreb on Wednesday.

The first slalom started at 12:15. The Croatia ski team has four representatives on Sljeme this year - Filip Zubčić, Istok Rodeš, Matej Vidović, and Samuel Kolega.

Croatia's best hope for a good result on Sljeme was in Filip Zubčić, currently eighth in the overall World Cup standings. He reached that spot by winning first and third place in Santa Caterina and 10th in Alta Badia in three giant slaloms. In the slalom this season, his best result is 20th place from Madonna di Campiglio.

Zubčić achieved his best slalom result in his career on Sljeme. He was 15th in 2015, and the victory went to Austrian Marcel Hirscher.

Hirscher has the most victories on Sljeme and was even proclaimed king of Sljeme five times. Last season, Frenchman Clement Noël won the competition. This season, the biggest favorite is the Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, the leader in the overall slalom standings after two races. In Alta Badia, Swiss skier Ramon Zenhäusern celebrated, and in Madonna di Campiglio, it was Kristoffersen.

Kristoffersen was the first to start in today's race, while Croatian skiers Filip Zubčić started at number 16, Istok Rodeš at 33, Matej Vidović at 52, and Samuel Kolega at 53.

And what a great first run it was for Croatian skiers. 

Namely, Zubčić had the 10th best time and is 49 hundredths of a second behind a place on the podium!

The great performance of Rodeš gave him a high 18th place, while Samuel Kolega also qualified for the second run in 30th.

Finally, Matej Vidović, Croatia's final skier in the first run, also qualified for the second run with the 21st best time! This is a historic day for Croatian skiing, as all four Croatian representatives will perform in the second run for the first time! 

In the second run, which was scheduled for 15:30, three Croatian skiers achieved the result of their career in slalom - Zubčić finished fifth, Vidović 12th, and Kolega 15th place. Rodeš finished in 23rd place.


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