February 11, 2007
ARE, SWEDEN - (USST News Bureau Release) - No-nonsense Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) produced the fastest time on the lower half of the downhill course to earn her second silver medal of the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. It was the third silver medal in three women's races for the U.S. Ski Team as she finished second behind bulletproof Anja Paerson of Sweden. Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA) was 10th.
It's the first U.S. medal in women's downhill at a World Championships since Hilary Lindh won the DH in Sestriere, Italy, in 1997, a year after Picabo Street won gold at the '96 Worlds in Sierra Nevada, Spain (with Lindh as bronze medalist). The three women's medals in Are matched the U.S. total at Worlds from 1996, 1985 and the 1960 Olympics, which doubled as World Championships in that era.
NBC will have downhill coverage Saturday Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET. In addition, NBCSports.com and MediaZone.com are providing live coverage of every race through the end of the championships on Feb. 18. There also is live interval timing available at http://livetiming.usskiteam.com.
Paerson, whose first World Cup victory came at Mammoth Mountain, CA, before the 1998 Olympics, picked off her third straight gold medal, winning in 1:26.89 with Kildow timed in 1:27.29. Nicole Hosp of Austria was third (1:27.37). Mancuso's time was 1:28.09 with Kirsten Clark (Raymond, ME) 15th and Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 16th.
Kildow: "I knew I had to fight"
"I had such a big mistake at the top. I knew I had to fight all the way to the finish," Kildow said. "I went as straight as I could and made up a lot of time. I pretty much went off the edge. I caught air and almost crashed and then just fought back...
"I wanted it a lot today, so I was going probably too straight. I was going across the hill toward the fences. It's probably not the fastest line...
"If you're trying to win you know you have to risk everything," she told a press conference. "I pretty much just threw reason out the window. I turned my brain off after that mistake and just went for it, I was pretty much on auto-pilot at that point."
Kildow, 22, who came into the championships with seven World Cup wins but without a medal at the Olympics or Worlds level, had said, "At Worlds, it's all about the medals. Fourth place doesn't count." Her second silver in five days, she told a press conference, "makes me really happy."
Mancuso trying for "something special"
After she took silver in the super G last Tuesday, Kildow said that relieved pressure for her and she was skiing confidently, so she was looking for more podium performances. Mancuso was silver medalist Friday in the super combined, and Kildow's performance Sunday may have set the stage for Mancuso - the Olympic giant slalom champion - to do well Tuesday night in GS.
"I'm ready for the GS," Mancuso said. "I knew to beat Anja I was gonna have to go for something special. I wasn't looking just at the podium, so I charged but it just didn't work out for me...
"I was ready in the start," Mancuso said, but she made mistakes all the way down her run. "My game wasn't all together."
Coach: Staying cool helped Kildow ski hot
Women's Head Coach Patrick Riml was delighted with Kildow's medal - "If you were to say at the beginning of the championships we'd win a medal in every event, it would be kind of wishful thinking - but I'm perhaps even more impressed with her poise and focus after her big mistake as she came into the mid-section of the 2.24K WM Strecke.
"She kept rocking and made up some time. It was impressive," the coach said. "If you look at the (timing) splits, Lindsey was third, 26th were she made that mistake, and then first, first, first the last three splits. She attacked. I was really impressed she didn't try to cut corner and kept pushing all the way down."
He also was pleased at having all foour U.S. women in the top 20. "You always want everyone up there, but that's not realistic," Riml said. "Jules and 'Clarky' and Stacey all had some good sections, and did some good skiing."
The next women's race is Tuesday with the final run of giant slalom under the lights. The U.S. foursome will be Mancuso, Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, VT), Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) and Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA).
For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=AL&raceid=49080.