Marcel Hirscher earns unprecedented fourth straight World Cup overall title

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Marcel Hirscher did something no men’s skier has ever done, clinching a fourth straight World Cup overall title Saturday.

The 26-year-old Austrian finished fourth in the World Cup Finals giant slalom in Meribel, France, increasing his overall standings lead to 60 points over Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud.

Jansrud opted not to enter the season-ending slalom in Meribel on Sunday, which clinches the overall title for Hirscher.

Jansrud, the downhill and super-G season champion, has not finished a slalom race since 2011 and had a microscopic chance of overtaking Hirscher if he raced Sunday.

Next season, Hirscher will try to match Luxembourg’s Marc Girardelli‘s men’s record of five total World Cup overall titles.

Hirscher will have to contend with the return of Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, who finished second to the Austrian in the overall standings in 2013 and 2014 but did not ski this World Cup season after rupturing an Achilles tendon playing soccer in October.

Svindal is stronger in the speed events of downhill and super-G, which could negatively impact Jansrud and therefore allow Hirscher to excel in the overall while focusing on the giant slalom and slalom.

This season, Hirscher has won five giant slaloms and two slaloms. He pried the giant slalom season title from Olympic and World champion Ted Ligety and has an outside shot at taking the slalom season title Sunday.

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