Mikaela Shiffrin ends podium drought in Kuhtai giant slalom (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin snapped her longest podium drought since her first World Cup win two years ago, finishing third in a giant slalom race in Kuhtai, Austria, on Sunday.

“I had a little bit of issues with confidence, and maybe I still will,” Shiffrin said of her results the last two months. “I skied to my potential today. Maybe I can flip it up a notch next race.”

Shiffrin, who at 18 became the youngest Olympic slalom champion in Sochi, led after the first of two runs but had the 16th-fastest second run out of 30 skiers.

She led Swede Sara Hector by .27 after the first run and wound up .18 behind Hector, who won her first World Cup race in a fog, and .09 behind Austrian Anna Fenninger.

“I was in the starting gate [for the second run], and I saw Sara go, and I saw her get like launched on the fourth gate,” Shiffrin said. “Then she disappeared into the fog. I was like, oh boy, this should be fun.”

Shiffrin had shared a victory in the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 25 and then went five straight World Cup races without finishing in the top three until Sunday.

“I’m really trying not to think about winning, but having fun,” Shiffrin said after her first run Sunday. “I think I’ve figured several things out about my skiing that I never really knew [during training recently].”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues in Kuhtai with a slalom on Monday. Shiffrin will be going for her 10th career World Cup slalom win.

Shiffrin also said she hasn’t really thought about if or when she will make her World Cup debut in the speed discipline of super-G. She was originally slated to race a super-G in Val d’Isere last weekend but pulled out to focus on training giant slalom and slalom.

“Maybe I’ll train some super-G, I think that will be good for my [giant slalom],” Shiffrin said.

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