Shiffrin storms to slalom win in Austria
FLACHAU, Austria – Agence France-Presse
American sensation Mikaela Shiffrin charged to a remarkable eighth win in nine World Cup races as she powered to victory in Jan. 9’s floodlit slalom in Flachau.
The 22-year-old, the reigning Olympic and three-time world slalom champion, trailed Austria’s Bernadette Schild by 0.37sec after the first run but set a blistering pace second time down to claim a fifth win in a row.
Shiffrin, who will head to the Winter Olympics as a heavy gold medal favorite, clocked a combined time of 1min 50.86sec to soar to 1,381 points atop the overall standings after her 41st World Cup triumph.
“I was really looking for speed on the second run. I gave everything and had nothing to lose,” said Shiffrin, who won in Flachau for the third time -- after victories in 2013 and 2014.
“I wanted to ski freely. After last year [a third-place finish] I was a bit disappointed.”
Schild (+0.94sec) took second for her first podium finish since a November slalom in Killington, while Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter (+1.43sec) came third, two days after finishing runner-up to Shiffrin at Kranjska Gora.
Shiffrin drew level with Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell, who earned 41 of her 62 World Cup wins before the age of 23, and will have several chances to better that mark before her birthday on March 13.
By comparison Lindsey Vonn, the women’s record-holder with 78 career victories, only won seven World Cup races prior to her 23rd birthday.
Shiffrin will have to wait though after confirming she will skip the two speed events on the programme this weekend at another Austrian resort, Bad Kleinkirchheim.