Mikaela Shiffrin’s struggles continue in Sweden (video)

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin missed the podium in a fourth straight World Cup race Friday, her longest drought in two years, since before she won her first World Cup race.

Shiffrin, the 19-year-old Olympic slalom champion, finished 10th in a giant slalom in Are, Sweden, on Friday.

Slovenian Tina Maze, the Olympic giant slalom champion, won by two tenths of a second after two runs over Swede Sara Hector. Austria’s Eva-Maria Brem was third. Shiffrin, who was eighth after the first run, finished 1.36 seconds behind.

“I don’t know exactly what’s wrong,” Shiffrin said of Friday’s performance. “Sometimes I feel awesome. I trick myself into thinking I’m skiing like a hero when I’m not. These are one of the days I have to look at the video and see what I can do better.”

Maze won for the third time, in her third different discipline, in eight overall races this season. She captured her 26th career World Cup race, coming from behind, in seventh place after the first run.

“I’m really surprised,” said Maze, who said she arrived in Sweden from Canada two days ago and was jetlagged. “Today, I was walking around asleep almost.”

Shiffrin tied for the win in a season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 25. Her results since — 11th, sixth, fifth and 10th and 15th and 16th in two lower-level super-G races in Colorado.

“It’s been a little bit of a tricky start,” Shiffrin said. “My career has been really lucky so far that everything’s been in place, and my skiing’s been really good. I’m trying to get that feeling back.

“I’m trying to stay positive and look at the good side but also be tough on myself and try to figure out what I can do better.”

Shiffrin’s next chance will come in a slalom in Are on Saturday. She won the Are slalom each of the last two seasons, including her first World Cup win Dec. 20, 2012.

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