Hoefl-Riesch harnesses her speed to grab silver

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 15, 2014 at 5:48 am •  Published: February 15, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Maria Hoefl-Riesch was almost skiing too fast for her own good.

Approaching the last jump on a tricky Olympic super-G course Saturday, the German racer had established a 0.14-second lead on eventual gold medalist Anna Fenninger of Austria.

"My equipment was incredibly good. I was almost going too fast at the finish jump, I jumped so far I could not get the right direction to make the next gate," Hoefl-Riesch said. "Then the race was done for me. I just tried to stay in the race but I never thought it would be good enough for a medal."

Somehow, Hoefl-Riesch did make the next gate after landing that jump — the first part of the course visible to spectators in the finish area — and she finished 0.55 seconds behind Fenninger to claim the silver medal. She also won gold in super-combined and has two more races to go — giant slalom and slalom.

Hoefl-Riesch doesn't count herself among the favorites for the giant slalom. And while she's the defending champion in slalom, she's not able to dedicate training time to that event like specialists Mikaela Shiffrin and Marlies Schild do.

"The races with my biggest chances are behind us now," Hoefl-Riesch said. "No matter what happens next week, I go home very happy."

Hoefl-Riesch should also be happy about her career record at the Olympics. In a combined eight races at the 2010 Vancouver Games and these games, she has won three golds, one silver, and finished outside the top 10 only once — when she was 13th in Wednesday's downhill.

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