The U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin, in an attempt to become the first skier to win four-straight world championship titles in a single event, is in need of a second run like none other if she hopes to make history in Are, Sweden.
Shiffrin, battling a bad cold, cut back on her warmup routine prior to her first run in an attempt to conserve energy.
Shiffrin was the second skier on course and is currently third in the standings after her first run.
“A lot of my run felt pretty good. Breathing is a little difficult, so that’s the only tricky thing,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports after her first run. “You gotta breathe to keep your energy through the entire run, so I was sort of managing that a little bit.
“To be honest, nobody races in perfect conditions, so I think I gotta toughen up a little bit.”
Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener had the best time in run #1, followed by Sweden’s Anna Swenn-Larsson. Holdener, Swenn-Larsson and Shiffrin are all bunched up at the top, with just over a tenth of a second separating Shiffrin from Holdener.
One likely issue facing Shiffrin and her competitors in run two will be skiing on a rutted track of soft snow. Race organizers have made every attempt to harden the surface, but their attempts may be in vain.
“The second run is gonna be bumpy, and it’s gonna be a fight,” Shiffrin said.
Shiffrin has been dominant in slalom on the World Cup this season, winning six out of the seven slalom races held. Shiffrin’s biggest rival in slalom this season and winner of this week’s world championship giant slalom, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, also found herself behind the lead with the fifth-best time after her first run.
Catch the encore presentation of the first run of women’s slalom on NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET and watch Mikaela Shiffrin chase history live in the second and deciding run of women’s slalom on NBCSN on TV and streaming beginning at 8:00 a.m. ET.