Shiffrin beats Vlhova to win World Cup parallel slalom race
AP Sports Writer
COURCHEVEL, France — Mikaela Shiffrin beat Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in the final to win a World Cup parallel slalom race on Wednesday for the 35th win of her career.
The defending World Cup champion followed up her victory in Tuesday’s giant slalom on the same course to extend her sizeable overall lead this season.
She clocked 18.79 seconds, beating Vlhova by .04 seconds for her fourth victory this season, all in different disciplines. She has also won a first ever downhill and a slalom, her specialty with 26 career wins.
The 22-year-old American was fastest in qualifying, leading the top 32 qualifiers with a best time of 26 seconds.
It was then a knockout format.
Shiffrin easily beat Frenchwoman Coralie Frasse Sombet in the first heat and then eliminated Carmen Thalmann of Austria.
She beat Ricarda Haaser, another Austrian, in the quarterfinal — but almost lost her balance after clipping a gate with her hand — and then defeated Irene Curtoni of Italy in the semifinal.
Vlhova won her semifinal against Maren Skjoeld of Norway.
Curtoni beat Skjoeld in the small final for third place.
Shiffrin is the Olympic and three-time world champion in slalom. She was a silver medalist in giant slalom at the worlds last season.
She will be favourite to defend her slalom title at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February, and a leading contender for gold in the GS.
The nations’ team event, which features the similar discipline of parallel slalom, will make its Olympic debut at Pyeongchang.
Shiffrin has not yet said if she will take part in it, since she already has a heavy program.
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