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US teen leads slalom after 1st run

LIENZ, Austria (AP) - American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin led a women's World Cup slalom after the first run Sunday, positioning herself for a record fifth victory of the calendar year.

In an increasingly heavy rain, Shiffrin was slowed by a mistake as she almost skied out four gates from the finish but recovered to finish in 56.16 seconds, 0.22 faster than Maria Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden. Kathrin Zettel of Austria came 0.25 back in third.

"I felt really good and the snow was awesome, so all good," Shiffrin said, adding she would aim to go "maybe a little bit faster" in the second run.

At 18 years and 291 days old, the American can become the youngest female skier to win five World Cup slaloms in one calendar year, beating the record set by Janica Kostelic. The Croatian standout was 67 days older when she won five slaloms in 2000.

Shiffrin has been dominating slalom racing in 2013, winning the world title and the World Cup discipline title.

Two years ago, Shiffrin earned her first career podium finish in Lienz. On Saturday, she came third in the GS.

"I feel happy from yesterday," Shiffrin said. "I had a good night of sleep and some good food."

Four-time World Cup slalom champion Marlies Schild, who won the previous event in Courchevel, France, trailed Shiffrin by 0.69 in sixth. The Austrian is chasing her 35th slalom victory - more than any other female skier.

"I struggled a bit," said Schild, who missed most of last season because of a knee injury. "I didn't let the skis go. That's because I haven't done a lot of races recently."

Defending overall World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia avoided obvious mistakes but finished 1.58 off the lead in 14th, and Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany came fourth after a strong finish with 0.54 to make up in the second run.

Join the discussion

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eeodjo December 29 2013 at 11:15 AM

It is always nice to see a young fresh face downhill skier, especially if it is an American, to win the Women's Giant Slalom race. Go Mikaela and the Stars & Stripes!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
squaretail December 29 2013 at 12:16 PM

Fantastic to see such a young ski racer with so much promise! Good luck at the Olympics M!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jrp1947 December 29 2013 at 6:31 PM

Needs to avoid the Miley poses but otherwise go for it and win that fifth one.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jwilli1251 December 29 2013 at 8:29 PM

She need to watch sticking her tongue out. To easy to accidently bite it off if she hits something. She needs a mouth piece (no pun intended).

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
lowtechknowtech jwilli1251 December 29 2013 at 11:49 PM

Too easy for you to bite off your tongue perhaps (would probably prevent you from cheap-talking excessively), but this woman knows when to stick it out and when not.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
pbjclv December 29 2013 at 9:18 PM

Good for her. Thoughts a prayers for her.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jcrisw3453 December 29 2013 at 9:32 PM

Lindsay who? (just kidding, just said that for effect.)

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
lowtechknowtech jcrisw3453 December 29 2013 at 11:46 PM

Just what we need: More effect :-(

Flag Reply 0 rate up
chckpope December 29 2013 at 11:35 AM

Wow, to be young and fearless again.... I hope she stays healthy and wins it all, we need a new Olympic hero.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Keith December 29 2013 at 10:14 PM

What the hell is with these girls these days sticking out their tongues for pictures?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
lowtechknowtech Keith December 29 2013 at 11:45 PM

Michael Jordan did it all the time. Did you complain about him too?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
dollyfield lowtechknowtech December 30 2013 at 12:15 AM

When Michael Jordan was playing I don't think I had a computer - haha. But at least back then I had a life so I would have just been complaining out loud - not typing it out.

Flag 0 rate up
dollyfield Keith December 30 2013 at 12:12 AM

Exactly what I was going to say! If she skies like that she better learn ASL.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
nrgaines88 dollyfield December 30 2013 at 2:46 AM

ASL - English translation please. Ralph.

Flag 0 rate up
valerieacarr December 29 2013 at 11:23 AM

Awesome! Incredible gymnastic ability, strength, balance and fearlessness. As an ex-racer I am so impressed!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
KFTIRE December 29 2013 at 12:20 PM

Go Girl!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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