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Mielzynski wins second run and finishes 16 at FIS World Championships in Germany.
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GER - Canada's ladies' team brought its 2011 Alpine World Ski Championships to a close Saturday.
Erin Mielzynski from Collingwood, Ont., competing in her first world championship, finished 16th in the slalom, while veteran Anna Goodman, from Pointe-Claire, Que., finished in 21st place.
The 20-year-old Mielzynski was 29th after the first run but laid down the fastest second run of the day, beating her nearest challenger by more than 0.8 seconds. Her two-run combined time was one minute, 49.43 seconds.
"I'm a little bit disappointed with my first run but my second run was amazing," said Mielzynski, whose best World Cup result was a 13th place finish in slalom in Arber-Zwiesel, Germany, two weeks ago. "I wish I could have had a better result but it's my second-best result at this level. It's definitely a stepping stone to where I want to be in the future.
"The difference between the two runs was that during my first run I was a little bit distracted and I didn't take the risks that I could have done. In the second run I just went for it and took the risks. I had nothing to lose. It's definitely a confidence boost for me and hopefully I can duplicate it. Every day is just a learning curve and I'm getting closer to where I want to be."
Austria's Marlies Schild won the first World Championship of her career in slalom. She crossed the finish line with a time of 1:45.79. Second place went to Kathrin Zettel, also from Austria, with a time of 1:46.13. Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmne rounded out the podium in 1:46.44.
"I've said this before - we need our girls to put two good runs together," said ladies' technical head coach Jim Pollock. "We have the speed and we have the talent but for some reason we are struggling with our first run.
"In the second run, the pressure was off and the girls skied more freely. They did what they do during training and the results were there. They need to start believing that they can win at that level, it's a process that we are working at."
Goodman, who was the only other Canadian to finish in the top 30, with a 21st place result, had a two-run combined time of 1:49.95. Her best result at a World Championship is a 12th place in Val d'Isère, France, two years ago.
"I'm not really happy with my first run but luckily I finished in the top-30 and was able to redeem myself with the second run," she said.
"I'm nursing a bit of a hip problem and I think the confidence is lacking a little bit. The difference for the second run was that I just focused on being as fast as I could."
Lac-Etchemin's Marie-Michèle Gagnon was one of the 36 skiers who did not finish the first run. Eve Routhier from Sherbrooke, Que did not qualify for the second run as she finished 35.
The last FIS World Championship event will take place Sunday when the men compete in the slalom. Whistler's Mike Janyk will try to add to his 2009 bronze medal. Tune in on CBCSports.ca and BOLD TV at 3:55 a.m. E.T. for the first run.
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FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS