American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin earned her second World Cup title by winning a slalom by a 1.19 second margin in Zagreb last night to regain the lead in the standings.
The 17-year-old Shiffrin had the fastest time in both runs to finish in a combined 2:01.73 – living up to her billing as the United States’ next big ski star following her first career World Cup win in Are, Sweden, last month. “Everything went really well, it felt great,” said Shiffrin, who is enjoying a breakthrough season.
“I said it in Are and I say it again now: I have no idea how I feel. Maybe you should ask me again in a couple of years.” Shiffrin was helped by mistakes from her closest challengers after the opening leg, Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner, who both failed to finish their final run.
Frida Hansdotter of Sweden came second, and Erin Mielzynski of Canada was 1.76 behind in third. The rest of the field finished more than two seconds off Shiffrin’s winning time.
“I skied solid. It went really smooth,” Shiffin said after the first run. “I was just letting my skis taking me to the bottom and that is what I am looking for.” Defending overall champion Lindsey Vonn, meanwhile, who returned to training on Thursday after a month-long break from the circuit, skipped the race.
Slalom world champion Marlies Schild of Austria has been ruled out for three months after knee surgery in December.