Vlhova takes final women’s slalom; Shiffrin third

Olympics

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SOLDEU, Andorra — Slovakian skier Petra Vlhova used a frenetic finish on her final run to win the last women’s World Cup slalom of the season Saturday, while Mikaela Shiffrin placed third.

Vlhova trailed then-leader Leona Popovic by eight-hundredths of a second at the last split but gained time through the gates on the flat final sector to beat the Croatian prodigy by 0.43 seconds.

Shiffrin trailed Vlhova by 0.83 for her 17th podium result from 30 starts this season.

Shiffrin won six of the previous 10 slaloms this season and locked up the discipline title in January. She has also secured her fifth overall and second giant slalom globe.

“It’s the sum of a lot of hard work and many amazing races and the work of the whole team,” Shiffrin said in a postrace TV interview. “I’m very thankful and very proud.”

Shiffrin will be after her 14th win of the season and 88th in total in Sunday’s giant slalom, the last race of the season, a week after setting the record for most career victories with 87.

Vlhova won the season title in slalom last year and won her second race in the current campaign after triumphing in a night event in Austria in January.

After the first run, Vlhova led Popovic by 0.32 seconds. Third-place Anna Swenn Larsson was 0.56 behind, but the Swedish skier straddled a gate in her final run.

Shiffrin was 0.59 behind in fourth. The American led until the final split but lost three-quarters of a second after making a mistake entering the flat finish sector.

Canadian skier Laurence St-Germain, who beat Shiffrin to the world slalom title last month, was 10th after the opening run but became one of six skiers who didn’t finish the second run, which was affected by rain and wet snow as dark clouds moved over the course.

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