Mikaela Shiffrin wins Killington slalom; one shy of World Cup record

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Mikaela Shiffrin joked after yet another World Cup slalom win that she told Marlies Schild as recently as three years ago that the Austrian is her idol.

Shiffrin, at the age of 23, is now on the brink of matching her idol for the most career World Cup slalom victories.

Shiffrin won her 34th slalom, and her third straight in Killington, Vt., on Sunday. She is one shy of the retired Schild’s record.

Shiffrin skied through the fog to prevail by .57 of a second over Slovakian Petra Vlhova. Olympic champion Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was third. Shiffrin led by .29 after the morning run and had the field’s second-fastest afternoon run.

“Definitely a couple points on the course where I wasn’t sure I was still on the course,” said Shiffrin, whose lead shrank below three tenths midway through her second run.

KILLINGTON: Results | Alpine TV Schedule

Shiffrin already has the slalom wins record if you include her three parallel slalom victories, but she can tie Schild for traditional slaloms in Courchevel, France, on Dec. 22.

When Shiffrin made her first World Cup podium in Lienz, Austria, on Dec. 29, 2011, she blurted out to the winner Schild. “Oh my gosh, I’m such a big fan,” she said, according to The New York Times. “Well, I’m also on the podium with you. But I’m still a big fan.”

Shiffrin said Sunday that she still studies video of Schild, who retired in 2014.

“I don’t care if I break her record, I still feel like she’s the greatest slalom skier of this generation because she was the first,” Shiffrin said on NBC. “She was the first one to completely pioneer a new kind of style of skiing. Some of her runs, it was like she belonged with the men [Schild was actually a forerunner for a men’s World Cup slalom in January 2012]. If I break her record or not, I feel like it’s not even comparable.”

Shiffrin is also one win shy of fourth place on the women’s career list across all disciplines. She’s at 45. Only Lindsey Vonn (82), Annemarie Moser-Pröll (62), Vreni Schneider (55) and Renate Götschl (46) have more.

“I’ve always wanted to be the best skier in the world,” she said. “Slalom came sooner for me. For whatever reason it clicked earlier on.”

Vonn, who notched her 45th win at age 27, has yet to race in this her farewell season and, after a training crash Monday, will not be at next weekend’s speed races at her favorite venue of Lake Louise, Alberta.

Also Sunday, Paula Moltzan and Nina O’Brien had their best career World Cup finishes of 17th and 23, respectively. The U.S. put three women in the top 30 of a World Cup slalom for the first time since Jan. 12, 2016.

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MORE: Lindsey Vonn crashes, delays start of farewell season

IOC revokes shooting event status over Pakistan visa refusal

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has revoked the Olympic qualification status of a 25-meter shooting event in New Delhi because Indian officials refused to grant entry visas to two Pakistani athletes and an official.

The IOC said Thursday it was informed on Monday that the Indian government authorities did not grant entry visas to the Pakistani delegation for the 25-meter rapid-fire pistol event at the ISSF World Cup, where two places at next year’s Tokyo Olympics were meant to be at stake.

The IOC said it only withdrew the Olympic qualification status from the competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. There are 500 athletes from 61 countries who are already in India for other World Cup events.

“Since becoming aware of the issue, and in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) and the Indian NOC (National Olympic Committee), and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete,” the IOC said in a statement.

It did not say whether Pakistani athletes were entered in any other events at the competition.

In a statement to the Press Trust of India news agency, Rajeev Mehta, the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association, said Friday the IOA would approach the government again about the visas.

“It is a dangerous situation for all sport in the county,” Mehta was quoted as saying. “In addition to not being able to host events in India, there may be problems for our athletes to take part in international events.”

The IOC said the situation goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter to not discriminate against any athlete.

The visa refusal comes amid escalated tensions between the two countries following last week’s deadly suicide bombing in Kashmir against Indian paramilitary troops. At least 40 Indian soldiers were killed in Thursday’s attack, which New Delhi blamed on Islamabad.

Since independence from Britain in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which is divided between the two but claimed by each in its entirety.

Yevgenia Medvedeva wins Russian figure skating event to revive Worlds hope

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VELIKY NOVGOROD, Russia — Yevgenia Medvedeva beat Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in the Russian Cup final on Friday and boosted her hopes of a dramatic return to the Russia team for the world championships.

Despite a fall in the free skate, last year’s Olympic silver medalist scored 222.90 points to beat Tuktamysheva by just 1.71.

Medvedeva has struggled this season after moving to Canada to train, while Tuktamysheva started strongly in the autumn but was then hospitalized with pneumonia.

The Russian Cup was widely considered an unofficial skate-off for Russia’s third world championship slot next month alongside Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova and European champion Sofia Samodurova.

The skater likely to lose her spot is Stanislava Konstantinova, who followed up fourth at the European championships with another fourth-place finish on Friday.

MORE: Medvedeva’s coach Brian Orser says they’re on stand-by for Worlds spot

As a reminder, you can watch the world championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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