04 Mar 2019, 10:20 AM

STA, 2 March 2019 - Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič has won the premiere UAE Tour, the third race of the 2019 UCI World Tour, taking place around the United Arab Emirates.

Roglič was in the lead from the first to the last stage, which concluded in Dubai on Saturday. He won the first stage and an additional two stages of the seven-stage race.

This is the seventh win in stage races for the 29-year-old member of the Jumbo-Visma professional racing team, and the third in the UCI World Tour series. Roglič won the first two, in Basque and Romandy, last year.

Roglič said after the last stage that "it was very windy from the very start, and I was a bit nervous. But we ended like we started."

"The ending was perfect. The beginning of the race, with the team winning the time trial, was crazy, and we continued in this rhythm," he added.

With three UCI World Tour wins, Roglič equalised Simon Špilak, who is the only other Slovenian to manage the feat, having won the Tour of Switzerland two times and the Tour of Romandie once.

Roglič's next challenge is the Tirreno-Adriatico race between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts, which starts on 13 March.

26 Feb 2019, 14:20 PM

STA, 26 February - Women's downhill world champion Ilka Štuhec, who is out for the season with injury to both of her knees, has announced on Instagram that she does not need surgery, as initially believed. It is not yet known when she will return to skiing, but it will definitely be earlier than in the case of surgery.

The injuries happened last Saturday as Štuhec competed in the downhill World Cup race in Crans Montana. She crashed into the protective fences on the course, but managed to get up herself and get to the finish line.

See the accident here

Her team decided to have her checked at the local hospital, with the initial tests showing she suffered a posterior cruciate ligament tear in the left knee and a bruised right knee.

The injuries ruled her out for the remainder of the season and it was initially believed that she would require a surgery.

But the 28-year-old from Maribor announced on Instagram today that the "outcome is not that bad as first thought. Torn PCL, but I can make it without surgery."

The announcement comes after Štuhec was examined in Basel by Niklaus Friedrich, the doctor who already performed surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee in the past.

Her team later explained that it was actually a partial tear of the PCL in her left knee, while the ACL, which she tore in September 2017 to miss out the entire 2017/18, was undamaged.

Surgery is not planned for the time being, but it will be required if the knee does not respond to the more conservative approach, the team added.

"A new examination is scheduled in Basel in 14 days, and it will be known in a month whether the rehabilitation is progressing as planned."

The team quoted Štuhec saying that she needed to accept the situation. "I have proven to myself many times that I can return after an injury and the plan is the same also this time."

No surgery means that she will return to skiing much earlier than if she needed one, when rehabilitation would take at least nine months.

The injury came as Štuhec made a comeback after missing the Olympic season, winning the World Cup downhill and super-G in Val Gardena in mid-December and defending her gold in the downhill at the recent world championships in Sweden's Aare.

25 Feb 2019, 11:50 AM

STA, 24 February 2019 - Slovenia's Katja Višnar and Anamarija Lampič won silver in the women's team sprint classic event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Austria's Seefeld on Sunday.

The Slovenian team finished 37 hundredths of a second behind the champions Stina Nillson and Maja Dahlqvist of Sweden. Bronze went to Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Oestbergin and Maiken Caspersen Fala (+0.60).

"This is absolutely crazy, we finally did it," Lampič, 23, said in her first comment for the Slovenian public broadcaster TV Slovenija.

"Seeing you're at the front gives you an extra push. In the end I was at the very front. But I was on the outer side, if I'd be on the inner side, I'd have a chance to win. But second place is super as well," she added.

"I put in over ten years of hard work. I was often close, but I never succeeded as this time. You just work on and then one day everything falls into place," Višnar, 34, commented.

Like her teammate Višnar said that she were close to winning the race.

The Slovenian pair finished third in the qualifying, coming 0.53 seconds behind Russia's Natalya Nepryayeva and Yuliya Belorukova, who clocked the fastest time, and 0.11 behind Switzerland's Laurien Van Der Graaf and Nadine Fähndrich.

Stina Nillson and Maja Dahlqvist were in the lead in the other qualifying group but clocked behind the Slovenian team.

In the finals, Višnar and Lampič were in the running for the podium throughout the 7.2-kilometre track. In the penultimate stage, Višnar exchanged with Lampič as the fourth, a good second behind the Russian.

In the nail-biting finish Lampič advanced to the second spot on the last climb, finishing the race second only to Swede Dahlqvist.

This is the third cross-country skiing World Championship medal for Slovenia after silver and bronze won by Petra Majdič in individual sprint events in Sapporo in 2007 and Oslo in 2011, respectively.

It is the ninth medal for Slovenia at Nordic world ski championships.

24 Feb 2019, 09:41 AM

STA, 23 February 2019 - Slovenian alpine skier Ilka Štuhec, who is the reigning downhill World Champion, injured both of her knees in a crash during Saturday's downhill World Cup race in Crans Montana, which rules her out for the remainder of the season, her team said.

The injury is a crushing blow to the 28-year-old, who had made a phenomenal comeback this season after missing the Olympic season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee.

While Štuhec was able to get up after crashing into the protective fences on the course, she felt pain her knees. Her team decided to have her checked at the hospital in Crans Montana, with the tests showing she suffered a posterior cruciate ligament tear in the left knee and a bruised right knee.

The two-time downhill World Champion, who was third in the downhill rankings for the season ahead of today's race, will already be transported to Basel today. Additional tests will be conducted there by Niklaus Friedrich, who already performed surgery on Štuhec in the past.

17 Feb 2019, 09:36 AM

STA, 16 February 2019 - Slovenian snowboarder Žan Košir won the World Cup parallel giant slalom race in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Saturday, beating Austria's Lukas Mathies in the finals.

For the 34-year-old Olympic medallist this is the fifth World Cup victory, the first one coming in 2013 in Bad Gastein.

Košir is one of a few Slovenian athletes to boast three Olympic medals - bronze from Pyeongchang in 2018 and silver and bronze from Sochi in 2014.

Placing third in today's race was Austria's Andreas Prommegger.

Another Slovenian, Tim Mastnak, lost against Italy's Aaron March in the round of 16, to finish tenth.

The best Slovenian woman racer was Gloria Kotnik, who finished sixth.

Snowboarders will compete in another parallel giant slalom race in South Korea on Sunday.

12 Feb 2019, 10:15 AM

STA, 11 February 2019 - Štefan Hadalin won the silver medal in the combined at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Sweden's Aare on Monday in what is the first medal for Slovenian male skiers since Mitja Kunc's bronze in the slalom in 2001.

The 23-year-old Slovenian was second only to Alexis Pinturault of France, while third place went to Marco Schwarz of Austria.

Hadalin was far back in 30th place after the downhill but had a superb performance in the slalom part of the event for what is by far his greatest career achievement.

His previous best at world championships was 10th place in the slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 2017.

This is the second medal for Slovenia at the World Championships in Sweden after Ilka Štuhec won gold in the women's downhill on Sunday.

10 Feb 2019, 16:01 PM

STA, 10 February 2019 - Slovenian ski star Ilka Štuhec won the downhill at the Skiing World Championships on Sunday, defending her title and achieving the highlight of her career.

The 22nd World Championship medal for Slovenia marks a dream comeback for the 28-year-old, who returned to competition this season after sitting out the entire previous season due to a knee injury.

Štuhec finished the shortened course - it was cut by almost a quarter due to bad weather - in 1 minute, 1.74 seconds, 0.23 seconds ahead of Corinne Sutter of Switzerland.

Lindsey Vonn bid farewell to professional skiing with a surprise third place, half a second adrift.

Due to the shortened course, the downhill was widely expected to be just the latest in a series of very tight races this year, making Štuhec's 0.23-second gap all the more impressive.

Štuhec has also become first woman to defend the downhill World Championship title in downhill thirty years.

The Maribor native said she knew she was able to ski fast, she just "needed the confidence to ski and enjoy".

"I felt super determined at the start to just throw myself into it," she said.

"I am yet to realize what I have done again. I just stood on the start, ready to ski and enjoy, and I did it."

Having already won three downhill podiums this season, Štuhec entered the event as one of the favourites despite a dismal 8th place in the super-G and tenth place in the combined.

Vonn had set a great time before her with an excellent second half of the race, but Štuhec excelled throughout the course to carve out the decisive advantage.

Despite initially wanting to appear in the giant slalom, Štuhec will leave Aare to focus on the rest of the season and the remaining three downhill World Cup races.

She is currently third in the overall downhill rankings behind the Austrians Ramona Siebenhofer and Nicole Schmidhofer.

09 Feb 2019, 17:22 PM

STA, 9 February 2019 - Germany won the women's team ski jumping team event in Ljubno on Saturday, with the home crowd favourites finishing second ahead of Austria.

The winning team of Carina Vogt, Anna Ruprecht, Juliane Seyfrath and Katharina Althaus just exceeded the 1,000-point mark, with the Slovenians just over 25 points adrift.

"It was great. We're glad we managed to win the second team event," Althaus said after her team won the second team event this season.

For the Slovenians the team silver is the second podium finish in as many days after Urša Bogataj's third place in the individual event yesterday.

The best Slovenian today was Nika Križnar with 91.5 and 93.5 metres, the longest jump of the day.

This raises the prospects of another top result for team Slovenia at the individual event tomorrow, which is expected to attract several thousand fans, just like today's event.

"I'm speechless, I landed two great jumps. I'm really very pleased and can't wait to attack tomorrow," Križnar said.

08 Feb 2019, 20:31 PM

STA, 8 February - Norwegian Maren Lundby is the winner of the first Ski Jumping World Cup event held in Ljubno od Savinji on Friday. Japan's Sara Takanashi was second, while Slovenian Urša Bogataj was third.

Lundby earned 268,9, Takanashi tallied 263.7 points and Bogataj 262.6.

Four other Slovenian jumpers also competed in Ljubno today, all making it to the final round.

Nika Križnar (257.2p) was sixth, Špela Rogelj (240.5p) was 14th, Jerneja Brecl (226.7p) was 24th, while Katra Komar (225.9p) was a spot behind her.

Three ski jumping events will take place in Ljubno this weekend. A team competition is scheduled for tomorrow, and another individual event for Sunday.

* Results:
 1 Maren Lundby (Nor)       268.9 (90.5 m/90.5 m)
 2 Sara Takanashi (Jap)     263.7 (90.0 m/88.5 m)
 3 Urša Bogataj (Slo)       262.6 (91.0 m/89.0 m)
 4 Katharina Althaus (Ger)  260.9 (89.5 m/88.0 m)
 5 Juliane Seyfarth (Ger)   260.4 (87.5 m/88.5 m)

* World Cup Standings, overall points (15/24):
 1 Maren Lundby (Nor)           1088
 2 Katharina Althaus (Ger)       917
 3 Sara Takanashi (Jap)          706
 4 Juliane Seyfarth (Ger)        686
 5 Carina Vogt (Ger)             506
08 Feb 2019, 11:47 AM

STA, 8 February 2019 - Three events will be held in the Slovenian town of Ljubno ob Savinji as part of the Ski Jumping World Cup for women, starting on Friday with the first of the two individual events. A total of 62 competitors from a record 18 countries are expected.

The Savina Ski Jumping Centre will see all top competitors this season bar Austrian Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (illness) and Slovenia's Ema Klinec (injury).

In-between Friday's and Sunday's individual events, a team event will be held on Saturday, featuring nine teams, including the Slovenian team headlined by Nika Križnar, the best Slovenian this World Cup season.

Križnar, who is currently 8th in the World Cup standings, will be joined by another five Slovenian women ski jumpers at the 94-metre hill, at which Iraschko-Stolz holds the record with a 96.5-metre jump in 2017.

"I'm really happy that we'll be able to welcome the world elite also this year," Rajko Pintar, the head of the organising committee, said of the event, hosted by the town in northern Slovenia for the eight time.

"We are ready and the interest is great," he said, adding that the weather was expected to be nice and that between four and five thousand spectators were expected to show up.

Much is expected from the Slovenian team, which is missing its best member Ema Klinec, who had two podium finishes at the start of the season before suffering an injury in December.

Križnar will now be the main favourite for Slovenia and the new head coach Zoran Zupančič admits that "there is some nervousness ahead of the competition at home". "We've been in a competitive rhythm since the New Year's and we're stepping up our form nicely."

Križnar said that the main favourites would be Maren Lundby of Norway, Sara Takanashi of Japan and Katharina Althaus of Germany. "But I hope I'll be able to compete for the medals myself," added the 18-year-old.

Starting time Feb. 8th (NH): 14.00

Starting time Feb. 9th (Team): 14.00

Starting time Feb. 10th (NH): 14.00

08 Feb 2019, 10:30 AM

STA, 7 February 2019 - Slovenian lawyer Aleksander Čeferin was unanimously re-elected to head UEFA as the European football's governing body met for a congress in Rome on Thursday. Čeferin, the only candidate for the post, was elected for a four-year term.

The 51-year-old has led the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since September 2016, when following corruption scandals, it was looking for a clean slate to regain its reputation.

While relatively unknown in football circles when bidding for the office in 2016, Čeferin has grown to be a respected football official.

Pundits says he has managed to steer among different interests during his first term, which has earned him the reputation of a good leader.

In his address to the congress, Čeferin outlined the achievements from the past two and a half years and pointed to major challenges ahead.

Looking back, he said "a crisis often brings an opportunity for new successes", stressing UEFA was united again and financially more successful than any time before.

UEFA's revenue will reach a record 5.7 billion euro in the coming financial year, an annual increase of 25%, yet achievements should not lull it into inactivity.

"In the fast-changing world we need to constantly adapt, in no way can current achievements be an excuse not to take effective measures for the challenges ahead."

He said the main challenges were the development of competition formates where club football and national football should be seen as opponents, women's football, and a constructive cooperation with FIFA on the development of global football which will be aligned with the interests of European football.

Here Čeferin reiterated that cooperation with FIFA should be based on open dialogue.

While FIFA is pushing for a Global Nations' League and an expanded Club World Cup, UEFA is opposed to these ideas.

He also stressed that Europe would like to host the World Cup in 2030. "With our unity, we'll try to do all in our power for the 2030 World Cup to be held in Europe."

Since Čeferin had no rival at the Rome congress, the delegates from 55 national football associations did not vote on his candidacy, but appointed him by acclamation.

"Thank you for your trust. I'm moved and proud," Čeferin said after the re-election.

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