SEMMERING, Austria: American slalom queen Mikaela Shiffrin edged one victory closer to matching the record eight-race slalom win streak by winning the specialist event at Semmering on Thursday (Dec 29), her third victory in the Austrian resort in as many days.
Fresh from winning two giant slalom races on the same slope, the imperious 21-year-old was fastest down the first run, holding a slender 0.09-second lead over Czech Veronika Velez Zuzulova.
But the American suffered a horrendous mistake at the top of her second run and seemed to have lost the initiative, at one point falling 0.39 second behind her Czech rival in the intermediate times.
Shiffrin’s power and technique showed through, however, as she blasted down the bottom third of the flood-lit course to finish her two runs in a combined time of 1 minute 40.06, a staggering 0.64 second ahead of Zuzulova.
Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener completed the podium, at 1.54 seconds.
Shiffrin’s victory was her 26th on the World Cup circuit and sets her up for a shot at the slalom win streak record jointly held by Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider and Croatia’s Janica Kostelic.
It also extends Shiffrin’s lead atop the overall World Cup standings, propelling her out to 798 points, 215 ahead of closest rival Lara Gut of Switzerland.
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