Mikaela Shiffrin admitted after her first run in Jasna that she was scared – afraid of her own shadow and, apparently, bears. Whichever she imagined was chasing her in Slovakia, it clearly worked, motivating her to ski to a 2.36-second lead for a combined time of 1:55.60.
“Both runs, I just I tried to pretend that there was a bear chasing me or something,” she said. “I was kind of scared both runs and I was like ‘Just go faster!’ It worked really well. It was kind of rough, but a really good course and the course workers did a great job keeping it together. I’m thankful for that and to all the people that came out.”
The American has won every slalom that she has started this season, putting her in fifth in the World Cup slalom standings. But Shiffrin’s two-month hiatus due to injury made room for another to take the slalom globe. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden – despite finishing 10th on the day – secured the discipline globe thanks to six podium finishes this season including one win in Lienz, Austria.
“I didn’t ski for two months this year, but she still had to perform in the two months I was gone and she did exactly what she needed to do in order to win the title,” Shiffrin said. “I think she’s been going for that the past few years and I’ve been able to get away with it, but this year, it was different and she deserves it.”
Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener captured the second fastest combined time of the day, making up time on the second run to earn her fourth podium finish of the season.
“I’m so happy that I made it,” Holdener said of the tough conditions and long course. “It was tough the second run, but it was really good. I thought the slope is more broken, but it was really good. I can’t believe that I was in the first position when I got to the finish because I had a big fight. I’m so happy.”
The Swiss skier was followed by hometown hero, Veronika Velez Zuzulova, who fed off the local crowd’s energy to ski to third place. Slovakia has not hosted a World Cup race since the year Zuzulova was born – 1984, adding special importance to the podium finish.
“I can say maybe it was the toughest podium of my life, and even the nicer,” said the Slovakian. “Because we are like a small country, there was a lot of pressure, and the people, when I saw them, I knew they want just a podium. They will be not happy with another result. So I tried to do my best, and I am really happy that I am on the podium and that they go away from here happy.”
After first run, it looked like there might be two Slovakians on the podium, but Petra Vlhova was unable to maintain her top-three position, and finished in ninth place.
“For Petra, her first run, I think everyone was excited about that,” Shiffrin said. “I think she’ll come back with a vengeance tomorrow after not getting on the podium, but she’s been skiing so well and I think she’s going to be really great competition for the rest of our career(s).”
The only other American to crack the top 30 was Resi Stiegler, who finished in 24th place. Lila Lapanja and Paula Moltzan did not finish the first run.
The athletes have one more day in Jasna. They will race the rescheduled giant slalom on Monday with a scheduled start time of 10 a.m. CET.
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by Hank Mckee
- Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Holdener, Head/Head/Head
- Velez Zuzulova, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Noens, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Loeseth, Volkl/Lange/Marker
- Strachova, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Vlhova, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Hansdotter, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Women’s World Cup slalom, Jasna, Slovakia, March 6, 2016. … It is the 33rd of 41 races on the women’s schedule. … The ninth of 10 scheduled slaloms. … It is just the sixth World Cup race hosted at Jasna, and the second for women. … The last women’s slalom at the site was March 18, 1984 and was won by Austrian Roswitha Steiner.
- It is the 19th career World Cup win for Mikaela Shiffrin, 18th in slalom. … It is her fourth win of the season having missed from five slaloms from Dec. 6 through Feb. 15. … The winning margin is 2.36 seconds. … It is the fourth largest winning margin in a World Cup women’s slalom and the third top-10 slalom margin Shiffrin has recorded this season. … Top three finishers are within three seconds. … It is the 301st U.S. World Cup win and the 14th this season.
- It is the sixth career World Cup podium for Wendy Holdener. … The fourth in slalom. … It is her fourth podium of the season. … It is the second Swiss slalom podium of the season.
- It is the 24th career World Cup podium for Veronika Velez-Zuzulova and her fifth of the season.
- It is the 20th top six World Cup placing for Marie-Michele Gagnon. … And her third best finish this season. … It is the 76th career scoring result for Resi Stiegler and her 10th of the season.
- Lindsey Vonn (did not race) leads the World Cup overall standings 1235-1207 over Lara Gut (DNF 1st). … Viktoria Rebensburg (did not race) is third overall with 914pts.
- Frida Hansdotter (10th in race) leads the slalom standings 651-546 over Veronika Velez-Zuzulova and cannot be beaten for the slalom crown. … Holdener sits third in slalom with 511pts and Shiffrin fifth at 400pts.
- Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 3753-3510 over Italy. … Switzerland is third with 3201pts. … The U.S. is fourth at 2746 and Canada eighth with 1152pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|3||7||705287||VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika||1984||SVK||59.71||58.66||1:58.37||+2.77||17.25|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|57||197319||BAUD MUGNIER Adeline||1992||FRA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|