OLYMPICS: Maze Fourth in Women's Combined in Sochi

Sochi, 10 February - Slovenia's best Alpine skier Tina Maze finished fourth in the women's super combined event at the Sochi Olympics on Monday, finishing only 0.10 seconds shy of the bronze medallist Julia Mancuso of the US following a sub-par performance in the slalom.

Gold went to Maria Höfl Riesch of Germany, who managed to erase a 1.04 second deficit from the downhill (5th place) to defend her gold from Vancouver in 2010. Nicole Hosp of Austria finished 0.40 seconds behind the winner to claim silver.

Maze was third in the first event, finishing 0.86 seconds behind the first-placed Mancuso, but failed to give her best effort in the slalom, giving up almost a second to Höfl Riesch.

The 30-year-old Slovenian said after the race that she had in fact been targeting gold, but admitted that she was not confident about her slalom form and was "feeling much better in all the other disciplines", which she wants to focus on now.

She was also not fully happy with her downhill performance, suggesting there was some room for improvement.

"We now still have the downhill, super G and giant slalom ahead of us and I can do a lot there," she said.

Andrea Massi, the Maze team head, was on the other hand not holding back in his criticism. "I don't know what's wrong with her. She has put it into her head that she is not doing well in slalom."

Slovenia's Maruša Ferk was meanwhile 10th to improve her personal best at Winter Olympics by five spots, while Ilka Štuhec failed to finish the slalom race.

© STA, 2014