Shiffrin beats Wor­ley for sec­ond ca­reer GS win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

A few days af­ter Mikaela Shiffrin spent Christ­mas at Manuela Moelgg’s home in Italy and trained with her, the Amer­i­can and the Ital­ian fin­ished first and third in a women’s World Cup giant slalom yesterday.

Shiffrin held on to her first-run lead on the icy Panorama course to beat Tessa Wor­ley of France by 0.78 sec­onds. The re­sult ended Shiffrin’s 26month wait for a sec­ond GS win af­ter cel­e­brat­ing her maiden tri­umph in the open­ing race of the 2014-15 sea­son.

Moelgg came 1.09 back in third for the Ital­ian’s first podium in nearly six years. “It’s so cool. She and her fam­ily were so invit­ing for Christ­mas. It made it feel more like home for us,” said Shiffrin, adding “it’s so spe­cial” that Moelgg also made the top three - for the first time since plac­ing third at a slalom in Za­greb, Croa­tia, in Jan. 2011. “We have been train­ing at her home,” Shiffrin said. “We re­ally only had Christ­mas Day off. But it was OK, I had a rest­ful day. And some­times it is like when you take a break, then your body says, ‘Oh, it’s a break!’, and then you get sick. I tried to fight that off but I feel good right now. My en­ergy is good.”

Shiffrin’s 24th ca­reer win ex­tended her over­all lead to 55 points over de­fend­ing cham­pion Lara Gut of Switzer­land, who fin­ished yesterday’s race in fourth. At the previous GS in Sestriere two weeks ago, Shiffrin also held a first-run lead but dropped to sixth af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing fi­nal run. It made her skip the speed races in Val d’Isere, France, the fol­low­ing week in or­der to put in extra GS train­ing. The ses­sions with Moelgg at Kron­platz, which will host a World Cup GS in Jan­uary, have paid off im­me­di­ately.

“But it feels like it’s tak­ing for­ever. I want to get better in GS for five years now,” said the Amer­i­can slalom spe­cial­ist, who won Olympic gold, two world cham­pi­onships and three World Cup sea­son ti­tles in her fa­vorite dis­ci­pline.

Moelgg was all smiles af­ter shar­ing the podium with Shiffrin and Wor­ley, the GS world cham­pion in 2013. “To be here with them is a dream,” said the Ital­ian, who is still seek­ing a first win af­ter 258 World Cup starts. “I had a good feel­ing, I raced well.” Wor­ley was only sixth af­ter the open­ing run, 0.80 sec­onds be­hind Shiffrin. She hardly won time on the Amer­i­can in the fi­nal run and missed out on her third straight GS win af­ter tri­umph­ing in Killing­ton, Ver­mont, and Sestriere over the last few weeks.

“I am happy be­cause in the first run I lost so much time on the top sec­tion,” Wor­ley said. “In the sec­ond run I was just at­tack­ing the whole way down.” Re­turn­ing from a 14-month in­jury lay­off, two-time for­mer over­all cham­pion Anna Veith fin­ished 3.21 sec­onds off the lead and failed to qual­ify for the fi­nal run. The Aus­trian caught a stone which dam­aged the edge of a ski early in her run. “Un­for­tu­nately, this was not how I thought it would be,” Veith said about her first race since March 2015. She missed last sea­son to re­cover from knee surgery.

“But I am happy that I was back at the start again even though the ski­ing was far off from where I want it to be,” Veith said.

The fi­nal run was in­ter­rupted for a few min­utes af­ter Maria Pi­eti­lae-Holm­ner lost her right ski as she went through a gate and crashed full­speed into the safety board­ing near the end of her run, though the Swede seemed to have avoided se­ri­ous in­juries.

The race re­placed the GS that was can­celed be­cause of high winds in Courchevel, France, last week. An­other GS in Sem­mer­ing is sched­uled for Wed­nes­day, fol­lowed by a flood-lit slalom the next day. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.