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Friday, March 24, 2023

Shiffrin closes in on skiing record with first-run GS lead

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SOLDEU – Mikaela Shiffrin posted the fastest first-run time in the giant slalom at the World Cup Finals on Sunday, positioning herself for a record 21st career win in the discipline.

Shiffrin could move past Vreni Schneider after matching the Swiss standout’s mark of 20 World Cup GS victories last week. The American has won six of the last seven events and took the GS world title last month.

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The overall record, between men and women, is held by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark, who won 46 giant slaloms in the 1970s and 80s.

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Shiffrin has secured the overall, slalom and GS titles this season and set the record for most career wins with 87.

Another race win would see the American set a personal best of 2,206 World Cup points from 31 starts this season, two points more than her tally from 2018-19, when she competed in 26 races.

With the sun beaming down on the Avet course, Shiffrin opened the race in 56.60 seconds to build a lead of more than six-tenths of a second.

“This run felt like the best I can do,” Shiffrin said. “I think it was really quite a bit of luck to draw bib 1 today. For sure, I had the best surface. And I also tried to be really active and take advantage of that.”

Canada’s Valerie Grenier, Italy’s Marta Bassino and Poland’s Maryna Gasienica-Daniel all trailed the American by between 0.62 and 0.65.

Three of the top seven ranked racers did not finish, as Petra Vlhova, who won Saturday’s slalom, Federica Brignone and Olympic champion Sara Hector all missed a gate.

Lara Gut-Behrami lost a ski pole early in her run after hitting a gate with her left hand but the Swiss skier still posted the sixth-fastest time.

Two-time former world champion Tessa Worley of France was seventh in what she said would be the last race of her career.

The second run is scheduled for later Sunday.


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