Shiffrin claims 78th win
Skier moves closer to Vonn’s World Cup record
Published: Dec 28, 2022 11:13 PM
Mikaela Shiffrin competes during the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on December 27, 2022 in Semmering, Austria. Photo: VCG

Mikaela Shiffrin competes during the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on December 27, 2022 in Semmering, Austria. Photo: VCG

Mikaela Shiffrin had to go "full gas" to pull off the 78th World Cup win of her career with victory in Tuesday's giant slalom event in Semmering. 

Still only 27 years old, the American is now just four wins short of the women's record of 82 World Cup victories set by Lindsey Vonn and is also on track to zip past the 86 World Cup victories of Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark.

The overall World Cup leader took a grip on the event with a dominant performance in the first run when she finished 0.72 seconds ahead of Slovakian Petra Vlhova with French skier Tessa Worley just 0.01 seconds further back. 

Going last in the second run and needing to produce a good run to overturn a flying Vlhova, Shiffrin clocked the sixth best run, but it was still enough to ensure her fourth World Cup win of the season, 0.13 seconds ahead of the Slovak. 

"It's not easy to win these races with a big lead after the first run," said Shiffrin. 

"The other women they push so hard and they were able to come back almost all the way. I had to fight for it. I was pushing really hard. 

"Sometimes when I start bib 1, I hold back on my skiing. But today I said 'no, we are not doing that, I am going full gas every time. I don't care how it feels, every turn I am pushing.'

"The second run [was] a little bit wild sometimes but I felt like the skis were running. I really enjoy racing here. I was being pushed around sometimes but overall my skiing felt good."

Vlhova, who is yet to win on the World Cup circuit this season, almost snatched the victory with an outstanding second run of one mininute 1.10 seconds, the quickest single run of the day. 

"Of course if you are there and waiting and you see the timing [of Shiffrin's second run] is slower and slower you hope for first position," said a disappointed Vlhova who has five podium places but no wins so far this season.

Italian skier Marta Bassino, who was fourth after the first run, pipped Worley to complete the podium and maintain her position at the top of the discipline standings. Olympic champion Sara Hector finished down in eighth.

Shiffrin, who also won two slaloms at Levi and the Super-G at St. Moritz, now has 675 points in the overall standings, 205 ahead of the Italian speed specialist Sofia Goggia who is not competing in Semmering. 

The American is fifth in the discipline standings, 80 points behind Bassino. 

On Wednesday, Swiss world champion Lara Gut-Behrami clocked the fastest time in the first run of the second giant slalom in Semmering, ahead of Tuesday's winner Shiffrin.

The 31-year-old Gut-Behrami, who took gold in 2021's world championships and bronze at the Beijing Olympics at the start of 2022, was 0.22 seconds quicker than the American.