Ivica Kostelić (CRO)
Ivica Kostelić (CRO)
Hannes Reichelt (AUT), Christof Innerhofer (ITA), Ivica Kostelić (CRO)


Perfect start to WCH in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Cause for celebration for Fischer: Ivica Kostelić (CRO) won the first medal in the first men's event at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER). The bronze medal in Super G means something very special to the World Cup leader: it is the first WCH medal for Croatia in a speed event. "The second thing that makes this medal shine even brighter is this hill. I think people will talk about this hill and the race for some time to come," says Kostelić, proud of his achievement in a race in which 30 racers did not make it to the finish line. "I thought that the more experienced athletes would set the pace today. It was a special race, extremely tough and completely different to the others. Visibility wasn't ideal either, despite the good weather," says the medallist.


Medal eases pressure

Kostelić has made no secret of the fact that as leader in the overall World Cup, the WCH does not have top priority. However, he is now absolutely delighted about winning bronze. It was hugs all round with sister Janica and his colleagues when it became certain that he would stay in third place. "My goal was one medal and I've achieved that already today. This means that I can now go into the next races a little more relaxed."


Leaving Garmisch

The Croatian will be returning to his home country again to prepare for the next races. After this perfect start the 31-year-old wants his body to recover well and will be leaving before the Downhill and Super Combined. And what does this mean exactly? It means that he will be leaving out the Downhill and the discipline in which he would have had the biggest chances of winning the World Championship title. "I have to keep an eye on the overall World Cup and make good use of my resources. And, more importantly: I have to look after my health!" This means that the Super Combined will have to do without this year's best athlete. Having said that, the Fischer racer is aiming to make his presence felt again at the final WCH weekend – perhaps even with a World Championship title, which would be his second after victory in 2003 in St. Moritz (SUI).