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So today saw the slalom competitors start their campaign in the 2013-14 FIS Audi Alpine World Cup in Levi, Finland.
Mikaela Shiffrin showed everyone how it was done in the first run by taking the lead by over half-a-second despite a big mistake. The 18-year-old is the defending World Champion in Slalom, and today’s race showed that she means business once again for the coming season.
Shiffrin’s second run was even more impressive, with the teen winning the race by 1.05 seconds overall. It looked like she had thrown it all away in the last few gates, with what looked like a slight lapse in concentration, but the American proved she can cope with the pressure and managed to hold it together. And with a performance like that, Shiffrin must now surely have cemented herself as the favourite to take Gold in Sochi in February.
Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch took the runner’s up spot with an aggressive second run that saw her move up from 4th place after the first run. Tina Maze finished in 3rd, a result that the Slovenian will surely be delighted with after a disappointing opening race in Soelden that saw her finish 18th place in the Giant Slalom. Rising star Christina Ager took the 4th spot in the competition. With the Austrian’s 18th Birthday only five days ago, we can’t think of a better present than an incredible result like this in your first ever WC race. We cannot wait to see what is to come from this youngster!
Britain’s Alex Tilley started the race with bib 72, and although she displayed some solid skiing, an unfortunate straddle ended her race. This was only Tilley’s second-ever WC race however, and we’re sure she will take a lot from the experience into the coming season despite a disappointing result. We really hope we’re going to see Tilley competing in Sochi, and wish her the best of luck with her season!
Tomorrow will see another Brit take to the slopes of Finland, with Dave ‘The Rocket’ Ryding starting his WC campaign. See coverage of the race on Eurosport (Sky channel 410) from 8:45am Sunday morning. Good luck Dave!
Check out the site tomorrow for a report from the Men’s slalom race in Levi. The young Austrian, Marcel Hirscher is looking on good form to take the win!
- American Shiffrin, 18, claims slalom opener (espn.go.com)