January 11, 2022
SCHLADMING, Austria (Reuters) -U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin won the last World Cup women’s slalom before the Beijing Olympics on Tuesday to take her 47th victory in the discipline and smash a record she had shared with Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark.
The double Olympic gold medallist, who shed tears at the finish, has now won more races in a single discipline than any other skier, male or female, in World Cup history.
Stenmark won 46 giant slaloms in a career stretching from 1973 to 1989.
Shiffrin had been only fifth after the opening leg in Schladming, Austria, but dominated the second run down the floodlit piste.
Slovakian Petra Vlhova, who had won five of the previous six slaloms and led after the first leg, had to settle for second with the consolation of securing the crystal globe for the discipline.
Tuesday’s race was originally scheduled for Flachau but rearranged, to a piste usually reserved for men’s races, due to rising COVID-19 cases.
While Shiffrin piled on the pressure with her powerful second run, two of the final four — Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener and Canada’s Ali Nullmeyer — skied out.
Vlhova, last to go, saw her 0.42 second advantage melt away as she finished 0.15 behind the American overall World Cup leader. Germany’s Lena Duerr took a distant third place.
The Beijing Games start on Feb. 4.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis)