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World Cup skiing: Mikaela Shiffrin can bag slalom title Sunday

Published February 2, 2014 12:44 pm

U.S. teenager has 144-point lead with three races left.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kranjska Gora, Slovenia • American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin can retain her World Cup slalom title on Sunday and become the only skier to secure a crystal globe before the Sochi Olympics.

Shiffrin can do it by extending her 144-point lead in the discipline standings to more than 200 points. A win on Sunday would give her 100 points, then she'd have to hope her closest rivals do not make the podium.

Winning the discipline title with two slaloms in March to spare would make for a huge contrast to last season, when Shiffrin had to make up 1.17 seconds on overall champion Tina Maze in the final run of the last event to snatch it. This season, Shiffrin has been dominating the slalom circuit by winning three of the five races so far. Four-time champion Marlies Schild of Austrian won the other two.

No wonder Shiffrin is feeling she's "coming off a pretty good season so far" heading to Sochi.

"Since this is my first Olympics I am not really sure what to expect," she said in a teleconference call this week. "But I am going in with a positive feeling. I will ski my heart out and see if I can go for gold."

Bad weather forced the cancellation of Saturday's giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, though organizers were confident Sunday's slalom in the Slovenian resort would go ahead.

Going into the race, Shiffrin has 402 points, Sweden's Frida Hansdotter has 258, Schild 245, and Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon 206.

World Cup downhill canceled due to fog

St. Moritz, Switzerland • Fog prevented downhill racers from getting their Olympic dress rehearsal.

Poor visibility on the middle section of the course forced World Cup officials to call off a men's downhill on Saturday, the last speed race before the Sochi Olympics. A women's giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, was also canceled because of poor weather.