Switzerland's Sonja Nef has finished third in the women's World Cup slalom race in Ofterschwang. The result will be seen as a further boost to Nef's medal hopes ahead of the World Championships, which get underway in St Anton this weekend.
The 28-year-old Appenzeller is already one of the favourites to win the women's giant slalom in St Anton, having already clinched the overall World Cup title in the discipline.
Her latest success in the slalom has lent further credibility to Nef's stated aim of winning two medals in Austria. Her chances of winning anything other than silver or bronze in the slalom appear slim, though, considering the phenomenal form of Croatian teenager, Janica Kostelic.
On Friday Kostelic won her seventh straight slalom race in a row, to equal a record set by Switzerland's Vreni Schneider two seasons ago. The Croatian's combined time was more than a second and a half better than that of second-placed American Kristina Koznick and two seconds faster than Nef's.
swissinfo with agencies