Originally created 11/30/03

Paerson sweeps at Park City



PARK CITY, Utah -- Anja Paerson of Sweden completed a weekend sweep Saturday by winning the opening World Cup slalom for her third podium finish in as many races this season.

Paerson, who won Friday's giant slalom by 1.42 seconds, had another big margin Saturday with a combined time of 1:33.74 - 1.14 seconds better than Sonja Nef of Switzerland.

Marlies Schild of Austria was third (1:35.15) and Kristina Koznick was the top American, falling from third after the opening run to tenth after slipping near the bottom of the second run.

Paerson, who was second in the opening giant slalom last month in Soelden, Austria, won her 13th overall World Cup race and ninth in slalom. She also won Olympic silver in the giant slalom and bronze in the slalom at the same site in 2002.

Temperatures pushing 40 softened the course on C.B.'s Run and nobody came close to catching Paerson, who made the first run of the day and held an .86 second lead entering the afternoon.

As the top finisher in the morning, Paerson was the last to go on the second run. Although she didn't need a great time to win, Paerson was plenty fast and pushed across the finish line for the easy win with an afternoon time of 46.60. She didn't get a chance to celebrate before she was swarmed by skiers congratulating her.

Sweden was the only country with two skiers to finish in the top 10. Paerson's teammate, Anna Ottosson, led briefly and placed ninth. Sweden's Therese Borssen, an 18-year-old making her World Cup debut, finished 13th (1:36.42).

Koznick, whose six World Cup wins have all been in slalom, was following her great first run with a good time on the second before she slipped and almost went off the course near the finish. Koznick regained control and salvaged a top-10 finish.