Winter Sports

Shiffrin wins 86th World Cup title to equal Stenmark and seal legend

A huge number of Shiffrin’s races are edge-of-the-seat dramas. This crucial fixture, however, was as near to a parade as it could have been.

Those in closest contention to her capitulated on run two: Franziska Gritsch (AUT), lying third, crashed out, while Valerie Grenier (CAN), in second, somehow recovered from sliding near-horizontally round a mid-course gate, but lost a crucial chunk of time.

Only Federica Brignone (ITA) was as bold as Shiffrin on run two, but had left herself too much to do, and finished second (+0.64).

All that was left for the Italian was to salute her rival. “Mikaela is skiing so great, she deserved another win,” she said. “She is amazing. She is attacking, her technique is just perfect. What more can I say?

“I was really attacking and risking a lot. The goal was to try to catch Mikaela and I tried my best. I am happy because I’m again second, again on the podium. I know I can ski good for the [World Cup] finals, and play the game in the super-G and GS. I’m really excited.”

Sara Hector (SWE) delighted the home crowds, meanwhile, with a bustling pair of runs to get bronze (+0.92).

“It was really fun to race, and such a great feeling to do this at home in Sweden,” she said. “Last year I lost the globe here, so I thought I would get something, and it turned out good.

“I have so much history on this slope. I took my first podium ever here, my first World Cup, my first bad injury. My best and worst are here.”

The day however, was Shiffrin’s, and left the legendary Hermann Maier saying: “it’s just a number today. I am sure she will end up with a three figure total.”

Shiffrin’s sixth GS win from nine races this season also equalled another record: this was her 20th giant slalom title, putting her level on GS World Cup titles with Vreni Schneider (SUI).

The victory meanwhile pushed her up to 1928 points overall, putting the 2000 point single-season barrier in sight (only previously beaten by Maier and Tina Maze).

Shiffrin will now try to claim the World Cup wins record outright in the slalom on Saturday, before heading to the World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Austria, next week.

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