Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin won women’s World Cup race on Sunday at Maribor, Slovenia. Moreover, she returned to the top of the podium just after five days failing to finish a slalom run for the first time in four years in her career.
Shiffrin has won the slalom for her 27th career World Cup victory. Now she is on par with Swedish star Ingemar Stenmark’s feat of 27 wins before turning age 22. Only Annemarie Moser-Proell (Austria) had more wins (41) at that age.
In light snowfall at Maribor, the American was leading the race by 0.19 seconds when a gate that she had just passed broke and slipped down the hill. Shiffrin bravely skied over it and managed to stay on the course as well.
However, she lagged 0.09 off the lead due to the incident. Nonetheless, she accelerated ahead of Wendy Holdener of Switzerland to take the win by 0.19. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden came in third 0.31 behind.
Shiffrin’s 27th win puts her in level with Phil Mahre in third place among American skiers with most World Cup wins, behind Bode Miller (33) and Lindsey Vonn (76).
Shiffrin had her seven-race winning stretch meet an end in Tuesday’s race in Zagreb.
Shiffrin looked determined to win when she took the lead in the opening leg Sunday. In a smooth run on the Radvanje course, she was 0.23 ahead of the tournament at the final split time but lost a few hundredths sec on the bottom run.
Veronika Velez Zuzulova, who won the race where Shiffrin lost, led the American by 0.08 seconds at the second split time of her first run. However, the Slovak encountered a gate soon after and did not finish.
Velez Zuzulova has become Shiffrin’s arch rival for this season’s slalom championship. Moreover, now she trails the world champion by 110 points with three races left.
Even if beaten again by Shiffrin, her rivals feel they are catching up with Shiffrin, who won a slalom by more than three seconds last year.
The women’s World Cup will take a turn to Austria for a night slalom in Flachau tomorrow.
Brave and beautiful American girl on the way to becoming the greatest: