Mikaela Shiffrin equals Ingemar Stenmark with 86th World Cup victory

Associated press2 minute read

ARE, Sweden – American skier Mikaela Shiffrin won her record 86th World Cup race on Friday by winning the giant slalom.

Shiffrin’s win equaled the overall record set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark 34 years ago.

The 27-year-old American protected her half-second lead in the first run and finished 0.64 seconds ahead of Federica Brignone.

Shiffrin crossed the finish line and put his hands to his helmet then to his face and slowly shook his head as he realized the enormity of his achievement.

“It’s just a spectacular day. Oh my God,” she said in an ongoing interview.

Stenmark told The Associated Press last month that Shiffrin was “much better than me” and that he believed she could win over 100 races.

Shiffrin took 11 years, 11 months and 27 days after his first high-level race on March 11, 2011 to break the record. It took Stenmark 15 years, 2 months and 11 days from his World Cup debut in December 1973 to his final victory in February 1989.

According to official statistics, Stenmark made 230 World Cup starts to get his 86 wins, while Shiffrin has 245. However, the International Ski and Snowboard Federation database lacks information on some events to the Stenmark era because skiers who competed in races but failed. to score World Cup points were not recorded.

Friday was Shiffrin’s fourth straight World Cup giant slalom win since January. Around this time, she also won gold in this event at last month’s world championships in Meribel, France.

Shiffrin cautiously started his second run in the floodlights on the rapidly darkening afternoon, letting half of his 1.04-second advantage over Brignone slip away before taking time in the bottom half.

Brignone curtseyed theatrically to Shiffrin during the post-race ceremony in the finish area.

Olympic champion Sara Hector of Sweden was third, 0.92 seconds behind Shiffrin.

Shiffrin also clinched the World Cup giant slalom title throughout the season to win her 15th career crystal globe trophy. She has already won her fifth overall World Cup title and the slalom title this season.

On Friday, Shiffrin’s 20th career victory in giant slalom – six of them this season – tied the all-time women’s mark held by Vreni Schneider.

Schneider won her victories between 1984 and 1992. The Swiss runner, like Shiffrin, also won gold medals at the Olympics and world championships in giant slalom and slalom.

Shiffrin won his first World Cup race in Are, a slalom in December 2012, then won two gold medals at the 2019 Worlds in the Swedish resort. It’s also where she was scheduled to race in March 2020 after her father died the previous month, but the races were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve had a lot of different experiences here,” Shiffrin said after his first run on Friday. “I felt everything you can feel here, so it’s special to be back.”

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