ALPINE SKIING Preview: Shiffrin chasing a record; Hirscher tries to lock up another Crystal Globe this weekend

Austria's World Champion skier Marcel Hirscher

The next-to-last weekend of the Alpine World Cup season could be a history-maker as the two great stars of the season can claim new records in the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Men’s Giant Slalom and Slalom in Kranjska Gora

Although Austria’s Marcel Hirscher is going to win an eighth consecutive World Cup seasonal title, he hasn’t clinched it yet. That could come this weekend, as he will be competing in his favorite events. The current standings:

1. 1,408 Marcel Hirscher (AUT)
2. 918 Alexis Pinturault (FRA)
3. 808 Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR)
4. 750 Dominik Paris (ITA)
5. 653 Beat Feuz (SUI)

So, as Hirscher leads by 490 points with six races left, he can clinch the Crystal Globe this weekend with two strong finishes. He has already assured himself of the Slalom title once again, leading Daniel Yule (SUI), 708-446 with two races left. He has also clinched the Giant Slalom title, with a 620-402 lead over Kristoffersen.

Hirscher has won 10 races on the circuit this season and the single-season men’s record of 13 – which he co-holds – is possible with two technical races this weekend and two more at the World Cup Final in Andorra next week.

NBC will show Saturday’s Giant Slalom on the NBC Olympic Channel at 6:30 a.m. Look for results here.

Women’s Giant Slalom and Slalom in Spindleruv Mlyn

The amazing Shiffrin has locked up her third straight World Cup overall title, something only three other women have ever achieved … and she’s 23. She also owns the Slalom title outright, but has two more challenges: (1) to win the Giant Slalom title and (2) set the all-time, single-season record for wins.

As to the Giant Slalom, she leads France’s Tessa Worley and Petra Vlhova (SVK) by 455-374-318, with two races left. A win for Shiffrin and a poor showing by Worley could win that title for Shiffrin on Friday.

Shiffrin also needs one win to set the single-season wins record; she is currently tied with Swiss Vreni Schneider, who did it in 1989. Shiffrin has won three Giant Slalom races this season and eight Slaloms/Parallel Slaloms on the season and will be the favorite at least in Saturday’s Slalom and the Slalom at the World Cup Final.

NBC has coverage of the Giant Slalom on Friday at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time on the NBC Olympic Channel and the women’s Slalom on Saturday, also at 7:30 a.m. Eastern on the same channel. Look for results here.