Shiffrin fastest in WCup slalom 1st run, Maze 2nd

Associated Press

OFTERSCHWANG, Germany (AP) — World champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States was fastest in the first run of a World Cup slalom, edging overall champion Tina Maze of Slovenia on Sunday.

The 17-year-old Shiffrin finished the Ofterschwanger Horn coarse in 54.45 seconds, one tenth of a second quicker than Maze, who is bidding to become the first woman to win five crystal globes in a season.

Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was third, 0.87 behind Shiffrin, followed by Swedes Maria Pietilae-Holmner and Frida Hansdotter in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Local favorite Maria Hoefl-Riesch skied out after crashing into a gate.

Maze is on course to equal Austrian great Hermann Maier's record of 22 World Cup podiums from 1999-2000. The 29-year-old has already broken Maier's record for points in a season, and extended her total to 2,154 by finishing second in Saturday's giant slalom.

Shiffrin crashed out during her first run on the Ofterschwang course on Saturday.

"I have another chance today so I'm gonna try and make the most of it," she said. "Really, today, all I'm trying to do is pretend it's a training day. It is different because it takes longer to inspect and there are all these timeframes that you have to go between. But I'm just trying to find that mindset, that it's just another training day."

Shiffrin, who led the slalom standings by 33 points from Maze ahead of Sunday's race, can win the discipline title with her fourth victory of the season if the Slovenian finishes outside the top seven.

Otherwise the title will be decided on Saturday at the World Cup finals at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

If she wins, Shiffrin would become only the second woman to win four World Cup slaloms in a season at age 17 or younger. German skier Christa Zechmeister achieved the feat in 1973-74 as a 16 year old.

But no American woman has won the Ofterschwang slalom.

"So yeah, I gotta do the second part to do it out the whole way," said Shiffrin, who turns 18 on Wednesday.

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