SEMMERING, Austria (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin took a big lead in the opening run of a women’s World Cup slalom Thursday, positioning herself for a third win in three days and 80th overall.
Coming off back-to-back giant slalom wins, Shiffrin was more than seven-tenths of a second faster than her closest challenger, Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson.
Shiffrin’s American teammate Paula Moltzan and Lena Dürr of Germany were the only others within a second of the lead.
Shiffrin’s biggest rivals in slalom, Petra Vlhová and Wendy Holdener, were just outside the one-second mark.
“I felt really good. I was firing, so that was a very, very good run and, to be honest, it was just a pleasure to ski,” Shiffrin said. “But it’s difficult and I think it can be quite bumpy on the second, so the race is certainly not over yet.”
A win would leave Shiffrin two victories short of Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record of 82 World Cup wins. Shiffrin could then match her former teammate’s achievement next week, when two slaloms are scheduled in Zagreb, Croatia.
Only Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark won more races than Vonn and Shiffrin, with 86.
Shiffrin already holds the overall record for most wins a single discipline, with 49 in slalom.
Adding to its usual schedule of a GS and a slalom, Semmering this time hosted a giant slalom that was canceled in another Austrian resort, Sölden, in October.
Shiffrin won all three events the previous time the resort near the capital Vienna staged races on three consecutive days, in December 2016.
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