Mikaela Shiffrin wins 10th straight slalom in World Cup Finals rout

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Mikaela Shiffrin dominated en route to her 10th straight slalom victory, crushing the field by 2.03 seconds at the World Cup Finals in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Saturday.

“I definitely feel like my slalom is 100 percent,” Shiffrin said after her first run, which was .72 faster than the field.

Slovakian Veronika Velez Zuzulova was runner-up combining times from both runs, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter. Full results are here.

Shiffrin won five of the 11 World Cup slaloms this season. She didn’t start the other six due to tearing her right MCL and suffering a knee bone fracture in a Dec. 12 warm-up crash.

The youngest Olympic slalom champion’s winning streak dating to the February 2015 World Championships includes that World title, a National title and eight World Cup slaloms.

Her eight-race World Cup slalom streak is the longest since four-time Olympic champion Janica Kostelic won 10 straight from 1999 through 2001.

During Shiffrin’s streak, she’s notched the largest World Cup women’s slalom margin of victory (3.07 seconds) and the fourth-largest (2.65 seconds), according to ski-db.com.

“Sometimes when I watch the video, it just seems like I’m able to be connected with my skis better and move quicker,” Shiffrin said. “Like the rhythm changes don’t get me as much. It all adds up. … I could easily see them figuring that out and coming back and beating me.”

Shiffrin was mathematically eliminated from being able to win her fourth straight World Cup slalom season title because of her two-month injury absence.

Hansdotter clinched her first season title March 6.

“We need to find something for next year to beat [Shiffrin] or even to do a battle because she’s skiing too fast,” Hansdotter said, according to The Associated Press.

Shiffrin is slated to start the last World Cup race this season, a giant slalom Sunday.

If Shiffrin was healthy this whole season, her average finishes in slaloms and giant slaloms would have netted her 1,394 points. World Cup overall champion Lara Gut is at 1,462 points with one race left.

That small difference proves Shiffrin can contend for the World Cup overall title next season, especially as she adds super-G experience. And even with the returns of past World Cup overall champions Lindsey Vonn and Anna Fenninger and potentially Tina Maze.

“If I can have some good results in some speed events, then maybe I have a shot at the overall,” Shiffrin told skionline.ch. “It’s going to be a fight next year.”

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