Seventh World Cup victory for outstanding Shiffrin
American Mikaela Shiffrin secured the seventh World Cup slalom win of her career in Flachau (AUT) on Tuesday – triumphing at the venue for the second year in a row.
The youngest competitor in the event at just 18 years and 307 days, Shiffrin became the second-youngest woman to achieve seven career wins, and the youngest in 34 years. She did so by posting a combined time of 1:45.83, beating Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter by 0.83 seconds. Another Swede, Maria Piatilae Holmner, finished third, 1.14 seconds off the pace.
Hansdotter’s podium means she has now finished in second place eight times, and her good form over the last year suggests that a first World Cup victory, and an Olympic medal, may not be far away.
Shiffrin was delighted to win in such style: “It was really fun, especially in the first run,” she said. “I managed to let my skis go. It was like every gate was coming faster and faster. Every victory is special. It always means something else. If there are conditions that are tougher or whatever it is, it's always nice to be on top.”
Overall World Cup leader Maria Hofl-Riesch (GER), two times a gold medalist at Vancouver 2010, finished in fourth position and leads Austria’s Anna Fenninger by 79 points. Shiffrin currently sits fourth, 167 points behind Hofl-Riesch.
Lassila back on form in freestyle aerials
Reigning Olympic Winter Games champion Lydia Lassila won her first freestyle aerials World Cup event in four years at Val Saint-Come (CAN) on Wednesday. The Australian put in a superb performance in sticky conditions, producing the only triple jump of the ladies’ superfinal. Chinese duo Li Nina and Zhang Xin finished second and third respectively, while a good day for Australia was completed when Samantha Wells achieved a career-best result, finishing in fourth position. Zhang’s third place kept her in first position on the overall leaderboard, just ahead of Li on a tie score. Lassila sits 55 points behind the duo, on 201 points.
There was further joy for China in the men’s event, with Liu Zhongqing earning his second win of the season.A bronze medalist in Vancouver four years ago, he served notice of his intention to compete for Olympic honours again at Sochi 2014 by seeing off the challenge of 18 year-old American Mac Bohonnon, who secured a career-first podium finish. Australia’s David Morris finished in third place. Liu’s win was enough to take him to the top of the leaderboard with just one event remaining, his 228 points seeing him 11 ahead of Belarusian Anton Kushnir. Canada’s Travis Gerrits sits a further 20 points behind in third place.
Information on tickets for Sochi 2014 is available here: http://www.olympic.org/news/sochi-2014-olympic-winter-games-tickets/190291