Mikaela Shiffrin must wait at least one more day to clinch her first World Cup overall title.
Closest challenger Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia won the World Cup Finals downhill in Aspen, Colo., on Wednesday to stay within (very remote) striking distance. Shiffrin is skipping the downhill and Thursday’s super-G to rest up for her best races, the slalom and giant slalom this weekend.
Stuhec gained 100 points for her downhill win, moving to within 278 points of Shiffrin’s World Cup overall standings lead with three races left in a 37-race season. The World Cup overall title is the biggest annual prize in ski racing awarded to the top all-around racer.
Shiffrin will clinch the overall title Thursday if Stuhec finishes third or lower in the World Cup Finals super-G (12 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).
Even if Stuhec wins the three remaining Finals races (extremely unlikely), Shiffrin will clinch the overall title with a top-12 finish in either Saturday’s slalom or Sunday’s giant slalom.
Shiffrin, who turned 22 on Monday, is looking to become the youngest men’s or women’s overall champion since Croatian Janica Kostelic in 2003.
She would also become the fifth American to take the prize after Phil Mahre, Tamara McKinney, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn.
With wins in slalom, giant slalom and super combined this season, Shiffrin could enter the 2018 Olympics with a shot to become the first American woman to win three gold medals at one Winter Olympics.
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