The 28-year-old Štuhec, who made a return this season after being absent for 20 months due to a knee injury, has won her first race since her World Cup victory in Aspen on the 15th of March 2017. Štuhec has now surpassed Mateja Svet in the number of World Cup victories (8) and is tied with Bojan Križaj.
What did she think about when she was standing on the victory podium? "About the last year or two, about everything that had happened and all I had to go through. That it’s great to be skiing again and standing on the highest podium spot."
A feeling that it went even faster than during training
‘On the ski course I had the feeling that it went even faster than during my training runs. This was partly thanks to the skis. I know it’s pointless to put on the most perfect skis for practice, and besides that, during trainings I usually wear a jersey which is a bit overstretched, a little torn and not really optimal. But during races everything is the way it should be and I start off with full strength. Some parts still need to be perfected. Clearly, there is still room for improvement. But this time everything else went so fast that it was enough for a victory,’ was Štuhec’s analysis for Val 202.
Enough worries. I’m going to ski and have fun.
‘I planned that upon my return everything would continue there where we had stopped two seasons ago. But in all honesty, this is impossible. Everyone has trained just as hard, and you lose the competition rhythm and feeling. Now I said to myself, enough worries, I simply came to ski and have fun. I felt well during my stay in Val Gardena and this is the result, which of course makes me extremely happy. But this is certainly not the end. There is a new race tomorrow and we have to prepare well again,’ said the native of Maribor, looking ahead to the following challenge. The super-G event starts on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. TV Slovenija 2 and MMC will be covering it live.
Coach Koštomaj: Everyone was relieved
Ilka’s coach Grega Koštomaj believed in her the whole time. ‘If I’m really honest, I was already very satisfied with the first training run. She was a big unknown for everyone and Ilka excellently completed her first training run without having a lot of information about the course. That was the first sign that she felt good here. During the second and third training runs we worked on finding the optimal speeds in every section of the course. On the day of the race, positive nervousness helped her to become even more resolute and aggressive. Her skiing was great, without mistakes, and she achieved the result you can only hope for. It was a big relief for both Ilka and the entire team. It was truly a moment of happiness, smiling eyes and mouths. A confirmation of good work, her great talent and everything that Ilka has,’ said coach Koštomaj while watching the victorious Ilka on the winning podium.
81st victory for Slovene skiing; 12th downhill victory
Štuhec brought Slovenia’s 81st victory in the skiing World Cup. This is also Slovenia’s 12th downhill victory in total. Štuhec now has the most medals in this discipline – five – and is Slovenia’s best downhill skier. Prior to Ilka Štuhec, Tina Maze had won four downhill races in the World Cup. The retired Andrej Jerman has two, while Boštjan Kline, who is still competing just like Štuhec, has one downhill victory.