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Americans just miss medals in slalom

SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM, Austria -- Laure Pequegnot of France
skied a near-perfect second leg to take a women's World Cup slalom
on Sunday and move into first place in the season standings. Two
Americans just missed medals.

Pequegnot finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 27.22 seconds
to beat Sonja Nef of Switzerland.

It was the third consecutive medal finish in a slalom for
Pequegnot. She took a second and third in two races in Maribor, and
also won the season opener at Copper Mountain.

Nef clocked 1:28.80 for the two legs. Third place went to Ylva
Nowen of Sweden, .67 seconds off the pace.

Americans Kristina Koznick and Sarah Schleper came in fourth and
fifth.

The first-leg leader, 21-year-old Tanja Poutianen, failed to
finish the second leg.

Austria's Renate Goetschl won the combined, which matched times
from Saturday's downhill with those of the Sunday's slalom.

Janica Kostelic of Croatia was second and Austria's Michaela
Dorfmeister was third in the combined.

Kostelic, suffering from back pain, crumpled in a tearful heap
after the race. She was 18th in the slalom and 22nd in Saturday's
downhill.

Anja Paerson, who was leading the slalom standings, failed to
finish the first leg after a mistake around a gate going into the
steep section of the course.

With Paerson's failure to finish the race, Pequegnot took the
lead in the slalom season standings with 412 points, 12 ahead of
the Swede, who has four wins this season.

Koznick is in third place with 318 points.

Paerson still leads the overall standings with 609 points.
Dorfmeister is now in second place, just one point behind and Nef
is close behind with 601 points.