Shiffrin wins slalom, 1 away from tying Stenmark


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SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin dominated a slalom Saturday for her 85th career victory to move within one of the World Cup record set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s.

She can match Stenmark in another slalom Sunday.

Shiffrin had shared the women’s record of 82 wins with former teammate Lindsey Vonn before triumphing at back-to-back giant slaloms in Italy this week and adding a third straight win Saturday.

The American celebrated with a shoulder wiggle and a bright smile after finishing the race before third-place Wendy Holdener and runner-up Lena Durr came over to hug her.

Shiffrin held a lead of 0.29 seconds after the opening run but lost one-tenth of the advantage after going wide on a few turns early in the second before speeding up and posting the fastest run time again to beat Germany’s Durr by 0.60 seconds.

“I knew it would take some risk and there’s a chance that I don’t finish at all, but I have to do my best turns to have a chance because these women are so strong,” Shiffrin said.

Switzerland’s Holdener was 1.31 behind in third, followed by Olympic slalom champion Petra Vlhová of Slovakia in fourth and Shiffrin’s American teammate Paula Moltzan in fifth.

The race took place at the resort near the Czech-Polish border where Shiffrin made her World Cup debut as a 15-year-old almost 12 years ago. Shiffrin also won when the venue last hosted a World Cup race in 2019.

“Wow, I can you hear you all so loud. Thank you for cheering. It’s amazing to race for this crowd,” she said to the spectators during a post-race interview.

Shiffrin laid the foundation for her victory with a clean opening run, in which she had a fast start and led her competitors by at least a quarter of a second at the first intermediate time.

She also gained time on most racers in a tricky passage halfway through her run, where the course setup allowed various ways to pass the gates.

“You could ski it either way,” Shiffrin said. “I was able to really carry a lot of speed on the end of the course. In the end, I felt very good on my run.”

Shiffrin has won five of the eight slaloms this season and extended her lead in the discipline standings over Holdener to 175 points. She could wrap up the title if she leads by at least 200 points after Sunday’s race.

Overall, the American has won 11 races this season. Only twice in her career has she won more races in a single season: 12 in 2017-18 and a record 17 in 2018-19.

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