KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) – Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin dominated a women’s World Cup slalom on Sunday for her 40th career win.
The result put the American level with Sweden great Ingemar Stenmark for the number of World Cup victories before turning 23.
Only Annemarie Moser-Proell won more races (41) at that age, but Shiffrin can match the Austrian great’s record at a night slalom in Flachau on Tuesday.
“I have so much fun skiing today,” said Shiffrin, who has won seven of the last eight races, including all four in 2018.
A day after winning a giant slalom on the same hill, Shiffrin positioned herself for the win by taking first-run lead of a 1.47 seconds over Frida Hansdotter of Sweden in what the American called “maybe the best run of slalom I have ever done in a race.”
It was the fourth straight slalom race where Shiffrin held a first-run lead of more than a second, a huge margin in a sport often decided by hundredths of a second.
“I let it go down the hill and I am really, really happy with my skiing that run,” she said. “I am always looking to do the skiing that I do in training. That feels really good, it’s confident, it’s flowing. The surface is incredible and froze overnight so it’s just so much fun to ski.”
Shiffrin posted the third-fastest time in the final leg and beat Hansdotter by 1.64 seconds, while Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was 1.87 behind in third for her 13nd career slalom podium without winning – a World Cup record.
Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, the only skier to beat Shiffrin in a slalom this season, was 2.18 behind in fourth.
Her two wins this weekend easily earned Shiffrin the Golden Fox Trophy, which adds the slalom results to those of Saturday’s GS.
It was another confirmation that Shiffrin, initially excelling in slalom, has become a consistent winner in both technical disciplines.
“That’s huge, that has been one of my goals since forever,” Shiffrin said. “So it’s so cool now that I can be a contender for the win in both slalom and GS.”
Shiffrin has won 20 of the last 25 slaloms she competed in, and finished on the podium in four of the other five races. Her 29 slalom wins in total leaves her six short of the record set by Austria’s Marlies Schild.