Shiffrin widens lead in pursuit of World Cup title
Mikaela Shiffrin shook her head after a final run that featured plenty of mistakes followed by some remarkable recoveries.
She left the door open, she feared. Turns out, not so much. Not the way she’s racing.
The American standout all but clinched her fourth slalom title in five seasons before she took her first run and then capped off an electric day with the win at a World Cup race in Squaw Valley on a warm Saturday in Olympic Valley, Calif.
“I’m not proud of my skiing. I think it was very scrappy, and I’m proud of the fight,” Shiffrin said. “But it’s not my best skiing. To fight my way to the finish and come away with another win today, sometimes it’s better to do that than to feel like I skied unbelievable.”
Trailing going into the final run, Shiffrin overcame some early slip-ups to turn in a combined time of 1:39.48. Then she anxiously waited to see whether it was good enough.
Shiffrin, who turns 22 on Monday, completed the Squaw Valley sweep, winning the giant slalom Friday as the World Cup returned to hill for the first time since 1969.
She leads the race for the overall title by a commanding 378 points over Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia heading into the final four competitions at the World Cup finals in Aspen.
BIATHLON: Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier won the women’s biathlon World Cup overall title after a victory in a pursuit race in Kontiolahti, Finland.
Dahlmeier has won 10 races this season, double the number for closest rival Gabriela Koukalova, including six of the past seven events for an insurmountable lead.
Dahlmeier took the lead at the third shooting stage of Saturday’s race as her key rivals missed shots. She won by 16.5 seconds over French athlete Marie Dorin Habert, with Lisa Vitozzi of Italy taking her first career World Cup podium in third, 3.4 seconds further back.
SPEED SKATING: U.S. speed skater Heather Bergsma won the women’s 1,000-meter World Cup title and closed in on the overall race in Stavanger, Norway.
Bergsma beat Japanese rival Nao Kodaira by 0.05 seconds to secure the distance title, with a perfect record in her World Cup 1,000 races this season.
The American skater is the favorite to secure the overall title in Sunday’s races.
Czech skater Martina Sablikova secured the women’s long-distance title for the 11th straight season after winning the 3,000 . . . .
With a daring race, Elise Christie of Britain claimed an upset victory in the women’s 1,500 short track race for her first world championships gold medal in Rotterdam.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby won the cross-country skiing World Cup title with a victory in a 50-kilometer classical race in Norway.
Sundby served a two-month doping ban last year for exceeding the permitted dose of asthma medication.
Saturday’s win gives Sundby an insurmountable lead in the standings for his third career World Cup title. He was stripped of another title from the 2014-15 season as part of the doping sanction.