Mikaela Shiffrin wins Maribor slalom, snags World Cup lead in teenage finale (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 13th World Cup race in her final scheduled start as a teenager, moving into the World Cup slalom standings lead in rainy Maribor, Slovenia, on Sunday.

Shiffrin, who became the youngest Olympic slalom champion in Sochi, prevailed by 1.03 seconds over two runs for her fourth World Cup win this season. Slovakian Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second, followed by Czech Sarka Strachova.

Shiffrin said she likes skiing in the rain.

“I have really good goggles,” she joked a finish-area interview.

Shiffrin moved into sole possession of third place in World Cup wins by active female skiers. The only ones with more are Lindsey Vonn (64) and Tina Maze (26).

Vonn won the first of those 64 at age 20. Maze had one victory as a teenager. The only female skier with more World Cup wins as a teenager than Shiffrin was Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell, who took 27 en route to 62 total victories.

Vonn and Maze own wins in all five disciplines, while Shiffrin has only contested two of the five (slalom and giant slalom) and scrapped a plan to add super-G earlier this season when she struggled with her slalom.

“I’m hesitant, I don’t want to rush the super-G because I’m doing pretty well in slalom and [giant slalom] right now,” Shiffrin, who owns one World Cup giant slalom win from October, said in a press conference Sunday. “In my perfect world, I would be winning both slalom and GS consistently and then move into super-G. So, if I go too fast with that, then I won’t get any of it.”

Shiffrin regained her form in the slalom earlier this winter, repeating as World champion two weeks ago and surpassing Swede Frida Hansdotter for the World Cup slalom standings lead Sunday. She went from 41 points behind to 30 points ahead of Hansdotter, who was ninth Sunday.

There are two World Cup slaloms remaining — March 13 in Are, Sweden (Shiffrin’s 20th birthday) and in Meribel, France at the World Cup Finals one week later.

Shiffrin is trying to win a third straight World Cup slalom season title. The last woman to do that was Vreni Schneider, who took the last of her six World Cup titles in 1995. The only women since 1996 to capture three straight titles in any discipline are Vonn and six-time Olympic medalist Janica Kostelic.

Also Sunday, Austrian Matthias Mayer prevailed in a super-G in Saalbach, Austria. Mayer, the Olympic downhill champion, won for the second straight day. France’s Adrien Theaux was second, followed by Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud. Travis Ganong was the top American in ninth.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with two super-Gs and a super combined in Bansko, Bulgaria, next weekend. Vonn is expected to race, if healthy following her Saturday fall.

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