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Winter Sports

Germany's Höfl-Riesch strikes gold in World Ski Championships

Maria Höfl-Riesch has won the gold medal in the super-combined event at the World Ski Championships being held in Austria. This was the first medal at the championships for the German team.

Höfl-Riesch, who was fourth in Thursday's downhill event, came up with a strong performance in the slalom to finish with a combined time of two minutes and 39.92 seconds and beat Slovenia's World Cup standings leader, Tina Maze, into second place - by a margin of 0.46 seconds. Nicole Hosp of Austria, took the bronze medal.

"That I was able to beat Tina Maze here is something I hadn't expected, especially with the way I skied - it was OK but not 100 percent aggressive," the 28-year-old Höfl-Riesch said afterwards. "It's crazy. You have days when it goes easier and some where it's more difficult. Today I was mentally relaxed enough to keep my nerve. With this gold medal I have now reached my aim and can now relax."

The gold in the super-combined event in Schladming was the fourth gold medal in a major event for the 2011 World Cup winner, following her world slalom title in 2009 and her gold medals in the super-combined and slalom at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

pfd/ccp (dpa, AP, AFP)