ALPINE SKIING: Shiffrin sets Slalom record in Semmering

American skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin (Photo: Andreaze via Wikipedia)

More history for the relentless Mikaela Shiffrin, who won Saturday’s Slalom race in Semmering (AUT) for a career total of 36 World Cup Slalom wins, breaking a tie with Austrian Marlies Schild, who skied from 2001-14.

“Marlies for me is always going to be the best,” said Shiffrin. “I wouldn’t be where I am without being able to watch her … yeah (the record) is incredible, but she deserves that spot in my mind. If I can inspire any young athlete as much as she inspired me, then I did my job in this sport.”

Shiffrin led after the first run by 0.48 seconds – a big margin in skiing – but the softening snow made her second run slower and she was only fifth-fastest in the field.

“First run felt quite good, second run was more of a battle,” Shiffrin said. “I was trying to not risk everything, but making speed on every turn. I had a couple mistakes, a couple moments where I was fighting for my life, but it was a good fight.”

Swiss Wendy Holdener had the fastest second run and it vaulted her into third place overall. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova – the best skier on the women’s tour not named Shiffrin – added to her Friday win in the Giant Slalom with a silver on Saturday.

Shiffrin also led Friday’s Giant Slalom after the first run, but her second run wasn’t as good and ended up 10th, to finish fourth overall.

In the overall standings, Shiffrin now has 1,034 points to 568 for Vlhova and 396 for Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel. Siffrin has now won a ridiculous eight of 15 races held this season.

Shiffrin also set a calendar-year record for the most World Cup wins – for men or women – with 15. The men’s record is held by Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, at 14.

Speaking of the men, it was Italy’s Dominik Paris that dominated the Downhill and Super-G in Bormio (ITA), winning both. It was his third and fourth medals of the season, but his first-ever sweep of a weekend speed series.

It was also his second-ever World Cup win in the Super-G and the 10th and 11th total wins in his career, which stretches back to 2010.

American Bryce Bennett finished fourth in the Downhill on Friday, equaling his best-ever finish in a World Cup race, achieved earlier this year in Val Gardena. Prior to this season, his best had been a sixth in December 2015.

The New Year’s skiing schedule continues with two events, for both men and women:

1 January: Men’s and Women’s City Event in Oslo (NOR)
6 January: Men’s and Women’s Slalom in Zagreb (CRO)

Summaries from Bormio and Semmering:

FIS Alpine World Cup
Bormio (ITA) ~ 28-19 December 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Downhill: 1. Dominik Paris (ITA), 1:55.21; 2. Christof Innerhofer (ITA), 1:55.57; 3. Beat Feuz (SUI), 1:55.73; 4. Bryce Bennett (USA), 1:55.88; 5. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:56.17. Also in the top 25: 17. Steven Nyman (USA), 1:57.21.

Men’s Super-G: 1. Paris (ITA), 1:29.95; 2. Matthias Mayer (AUT), 1:29.96; 3. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), 1:30.41; 4. Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:30.45; 5. Max Franz (AUT), 1:30.75. Also in the top 25: 22. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA), 1:31.93; 23. Nyman (USA), 1:32.09.

FIS Alpine World Cup
Semmering (AUT) ~ 28-29 December 2018
(Full results here)

Women’s Giant Slalom: 1. Petra Vlhova (SVK), 2:04.72; 2. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER), 2:05.17; 3. Tessa Worley (FRA), 2:05.32; 4. Stephanie Brunner (AUT), 2:05.36; 5. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 2:05.38.

Women’s Slalom: 1. Shiffrin (USA), 1:42.99; 2. Vlhova (SVK), 1:43.28; 3. Wendy Holdener (SUI), 1:43.37; 4. Katharina Liensberger (AUT), 1:43.74; 5. Katharina Truppe (AUT), 1:44.57.