Shiffrin rival Petra Vlhova dominates World Cup slalom

LIENZ, Austria (AP) — Defending overall champion Petra Vlhova dominated a women’s World Cup slalom on Wednesday to build a big lead over Mikaela Shiffrin in the discipline standings.

In the last event of the calendar year, the Slovakian skier held onto her first-run lead and beat world champion Katharina Liensberger by .51 seconds. The Austrian was cleared to race only two days ago after quarantining to recover from a coronavirus infection.

Swiss skier Michelle Gisin finished .68 behind in third, ahead of Katharina Truppe of Austria, who climbed from 13th place after posting the fastest second-run time.

Shiffrin had to sit out the event following a positive COVID-19 test that also forced the American out of Tuesday’s giant slalom on the same hill.

Vlhova extended her lead over Shiffrin to 120 points after four of the nine slaloms scheduled this World Cup season. The American remained in the overall World Cup lead.

Vlhova and Shiffrin shared the top two spots in the previous three slaloms this season, with the Slovakian winning twice in Levi, Finland, before the American won in Killington, Vermont.

Vlhova, who led Liensberger by .27 seconds after the opening run, lost more than two-tenths following a mistake halfway down her second run but accelerated in the final section for a clear win, her 15th in a World Cup slalom.

The result marked the Slovakian’s 50th career podium result.

No fans were allowed at the event in the Lienzer Dolomites amid anti-coronavirus measures in Austria.

The women’s World Cup continues in 2022 with a night slalom in Zagreb on Tuesday. It was unclear whether Shiffrin will be able to compete in the Croatian capital, where the American has won four times.

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