Shiffrin misses chance to equal all-time record

SPINDLERUV MLYN (Agencies): Mikaela Shiffrin missed out on the chance to equal the all-time record for World Cup wins when she finished 0.06 seconds behind Lena Duerr in Sunday’s slalom in Spindleruv Mlyn.
The American won Saturday’s first slalom at the Czech ski resort to move to 85 career wins, just one shy of Ingemar Stenmark’s overall record of 86.
And the 27-year-old was quickest on the opening run as she flew down the course in 44.66secs which was 0.67s quicker than second-placed Duerr. The warning signals were there, though, when Shiffrin told German broadcaster ZDF after the first run: “I’m a little tired today, I’m trying to concentrate and save my strength”.
Duerr responded with a sizzling second run of 45.58s, 0.05s behind Franziska Gritsch, for a combined time of 1min 30.91 which was good enough to give the German a second World Cup victory after a parallel slalom win in Moscow in 2013. Shiffrin was last out of the gate and struggled for rhythm as she came down in 46.31s, an overall time of 1min 30.97sec.
Croatian teenager Zrinka Ljutic picked up third place after two good runs, which left her 0.49sec behind Duerr.
There was some consolation for Shiffrin, however, as she sealed her seventh discipline title in the slalom.
With two races to come and a maximum of 200 points for any challenger, she is 255 points ahead of the Swiss Wendy Holdener, eliminated in the first run on Sunday, and the Slovak Petra Vlhova who could only finish 13th.
She is also closing in on a fifth overall title but her bid to equal and pass Stenmark’s record of 86 wins will have to wait. Like Shiffrin, Stenmark relished the slalom and giant slalom with the Swede dominating the two disciplines from 1975 before retiring in 1989.
Shiffrin has bounced back in emphatic style after a nightmare Beijing Olympics last year where she failed to win a single medal. She is heavy favourite to add to her haul of golds at next month’s world championships in Courchevel and Meribel.