Austrian ski superstar Marcel Hirscher became the fourth man to reach 50 career World Cup wins, taking a slalom in Zagreb, Croatia, on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Hirscher won his fifth race of the season, a strong recovery from breaking his left ankle in August slalom training.
He edged countryman Michael Matt by .05 combining times from two runs. Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen was third. The top American was Mark Engel in 24th.
The World Cup men’s career wins list:
Ingemark Stenmark (SWE) — 86
Hermann Maier (AUT) — 54
Alberto Tomba (ITA) — 50
Marcel Hirscher (AUT) — 50
“Alberto Tomba is a name where you think, oh my God, he is a real living ski legend,” Hirscher said.
Hirscher has now won at least five races in seven straight seasons. He already holds the record of six straight World Cup overall titles.
He leads this season’s standings, eyeing a seventh straight, through 17 of 37 races.
If Hirscher stays on his recent pace, he would pass Stenmark’s 86 wins in 2022 or 2023.
But Hirscher has always cautioned that he could retire after any season, even without an Olympic gold medal.
Hirscher was fourth and fifth in two races at Vancouver 2010 and was upset for slalom gold in Sochi by countryman Mario Matt, the older brother of Michael.
Hirscher grabbed two golds and one silver at each of the last three world championships.
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