Petra Vlhova wins fifth straight slalom; Mikaela Shiffrin just off podium

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Petra Vlhova won her fifth straight World Cup slalom on Sunday, while Mikaela Shiffrin finished fifth to complete her weekend return to ski racing for the first time in 300 days.

Vlhova, the world giant slalom champion from Slovakia, notched her second slalom victory in as many days in Levi, Finland.

She prevailed by .31 of a second, combining times from two runs. Swiss Michelle Gisin was second, followed by Austrian Katharina Liensberger and Swiss Wendy Holdener.

Full results are here.

Shiffrin, a day after a runner-up in her first race since her father’s death on Feb. 2, had the fourth-fastest opening run and the ninth-fastest second run to finish fifth overall, .93 behind Vlhova.

“A bit tired,” said Shiffrin, who arrived in Europe last Monday and raced on two weeks of training following a back injury. “Two really solid races and just [an] incredible weekend.

“I feel like the competitive edge is maybe coming back, too, so that’s also exciting, but it’s good to be in a ski race again.”

Shiffrin’s personal-record streak ends of 17 straight World Cup slalom podiums — dating to March 2018.

Shiffrin and Vlhova combined to win the last 28 World Cup slaloms dating to January 2017 — 19 for Shiffrin and nine for Vlhova.

Vlhova’s current win streak has coincided with the first time Shiffrin has gone four straight World Cup slalom starts without a victory since 2012, before she grabbed her first of 66 World Cup wins at age 17.

The World Cup moves to Austria for women’s and men’s parallel races on Thursday and Friday.

Shiffrin’s coach, Mike Day, said last week that it was unlikely that she would compete in the parallel event as she ramps up training after a lack of time on snow in the spring, summer and early fall.

“Try to find some place to train and reset a little bit,” Shiffrin said. “Just find some training and see when the next races I can do are.”

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