Happy day for Oester

Marlies Oester slaloms past the post on her way to fifth place Keystone

While Didier Cuche was captivating Adelboden, the Swiss resort's very own Marlies Oester was busy compiling one of her best ever performances on the distant slopes of Maribor, Slovenia.

This content was published on January 5, 2002

Oester managed to finish in fifth place in the event in a combined time of 1'39"73, just 1.68 seconds behind the winner, Sweden's Anja Paerson.

It was the 25-year-old Swiss skier's best performance in five years and one which will be seen as well deserved following a series of injury problems that have included hand fractures and two broken collar bones.

"There were plenty of times when I thought about giving up," admitted a delighted Oester after Saturday's race.

Good team effort

There was more good news for the Swiss team in general with Sonja Nef following up on Friday's giant slalom win with an eighth place finish in the slalom discipline and fellow Swiss Corina Gruenenfelder coming in tenth.

The race marked the first time since December 1996 that three Swiss women have finished in the top ten. On that occasion a young Oester took sixth place with Gabi Zingre taking seventh spot and Martina Accola coming in ninth.

Nef frustrated

Nef though was less than happy with her individual performance which denied her the chance to go top of the sport's overall rankings.

"I couldn't show in the race what I had managed in training," said a frustrated Nef. "In the first run I overestimated the hardness of the piste and the second leg didn't go the way I'd planned either."

Although her eighth place was enough to take Nef above former rankings leader Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria, both women were leapfrogged by Paerson leaving Nef still in second place overall.

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