World Cup alpine slalom skier Anna Goodman of Pointe Claire, Que., has endured a rough time with serious injuries in the last three seasons at Croatia’s annual slalom race.
Yesterday – after a painful history of a broken thumb, a torn-up knee and a serious concussion – she might have given the Zagreb gremlins a pass. Instead, she shrugged off the legacy of injury to complete World Cup slalom, placing 23rd and notching her third top-30 result of the 2011-12 season.
The 25-year-old slalom specialist had two solid runs to register a two-run combined time of two minutes, 7.06 seconds. Her performance, about 3 ½ seconds off the podium, came after teammates Marie-Michèle Gagnon, of Lac-Etchemin, Que., and Erin Mielzynski, of Guelph, Ont., did not finish their first runs. Elli Terwiel, of Sun Peaks, B.C., and Madison Irwin, of Toronto, Ont., did not qualify for the second run.
Austria’s Marlies Schild, who has won five consecutive World Cup slaloms, was fastest in both runs. Her two-run combined time of 2:01.32 was 1.4 seconds ahead of Slovenia’s Tina Maze (2:02.72). Michaela Kirchgasser, of Austria, was third (2:03.59).
“I’m happy to be back in the top 30,” Goodman said. “Both runs today were slower than I feel I am skiing but I was happy just to finish and to get the points.”
Goodman finished 20th in the slalom in Aspen, Colorado, in November and followed that up with an 11th-place result in Courchevel, France, last month. She did not qualify for the second run in the December races in Austria – Flachau and Lienz – and just made it Tuesday, finishing 30th after the first run.
“For Anna, this is a huge result compared to what happened in previous years with the injuries,” said Hugues Ansermoz, head coach of Canada’s ladies’ team. “Zagreb is a place that doesn’t seem to like us. Last year we didn’t have anybody in the second run.”
Gagnon missed a gate near the top of the course in the first run. Mielzynski suffered a similar fate to Gagnon when she skied out lower down.
“[Gagnon]said something happened to her ski and she couldn’t turn,” Ansermoz said. “Erin was kind of sitting back and got thrown off the course.”
The next World Cup slalom race, is slated for Maribor, Slovenia, on Jan. 22.
“I just wanted to ski well today. I’m getting back slowly,” said Goodman, of returning from injury this season. “I know I’m skiing really fast in training and I just need to [do the same]on race day. I’m definitely aiming higher but I’m excited for the break and looking forward to coming back fresh in two weeks.”