Mikaela Shiffrin wasn’t able to overtake Slovakian skier Petra Vlhova on her final run in the last women’s World Cup slalom of the season Saturday, but the American star did manage to tie another all-time record.
Shiffrin’s third-place finish in Soldeu, Andorra – the 137th podium of her career – was good enough to pull her level with Lindsey Vonn’s record for most ever by a female skier.
Vlhova trailed then-leader Leona Popovic by eight-hundredths of a second at the last split on her final run, but gained time through the gates on the flat final sector to beat the Croatian prodigy by 0.43sec.
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 the American 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 post-race 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 0.32sec. Third-place Anna Swenn Larsson was 0.56 behind but the Swede 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.
Odermatt sets World Cup points mark
Marco Odermatt underlined his dominance in men’s ski racing Saturday by breaking the 23-year-old male record for most World Cup points in a single season.
The Swiss standout won his last race of the season, the giant slalom at the World Cup Finals, by a massive 2.11sec over second-place Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway.
The victory lifted Odermatt’s tally to 2,042 points and past the previous mark of 2,000 set by Austrian great Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.
“Sorry, Hermann,” Odermatt quipped in a post-race interview with Austrian TV, adding the record meant “a lot” to him.
“The past days I always said: no no, not so important, just numbers,” Odermatt said. “But like I felt today with the pressure again, I knew it was more important than I said. I’m very happy that it worked.”
Last week, Maier wrote on his website he hoped that Odermatt would overtake him.
“In my eyes Marco hasn’t even reached his zenith and can still improve, especially in downhill,” Maier said.
Theoretically, Odermatt had a chance to add even more points in Sunday’s season-ending slalom, but he sits it out as he has never raced in that event on World Cup level.
The overall record, between men and women, is held by Slovenian standout Tina Maze, who accrued 2,414 points when she won the women’s overall title in 2013.
Odermatt, who is the Olympic champion, matched another best mark with his 13th win of the season. No male skier has ever won more races in one campaign, and only Maier, Ingemar Stenmark and Marcel Hirscher achieved the feat in the past.
The overall record here is held by Mikaela Shiffrin, who won 17 times on her way to the 2018-19 women’s overall title.
Odermatt had already successfully defended his overall title and secured the super-G and GS discipline globes.
“I was looking forward to finals without pressure, but today I felt this pressure again,” he said. “Today it wasn’t easy, I was nervous again because of those damn 2,000 points. Now with another victory, more than two seconds ahead, I don’t know what to say.”
On Saturday, the Swiss standout posted the second-fastest time in his final run as he built on his clear lead from the first run, when he was 1.09sec faster than Alexis Pinturault. The French skier then dropped to eighth.
Kristoffersen ranked only eighth after the opening leg before climbing to second position. Marco Schwarz of Austria finished 2.29 behind in third.
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