ARE, Sweden (AP) — Olympic champion Marcel Hirscher won the season-ending men’s World Cup giant slalom on Saturday for his 58th career victory.
The Austrian had already locked up the season title in the discipline and his seventh straight overall championship two weeks ago. On Saturday, he became only the third skier to win 13 races in a single World Cup season, after Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark in 1978-79 and Austria’s Hermann Maier in 2000-01.
“This is definitely something so unreal,” said Hirscher, who can set a new best mark in Sunday’s slalom.
Hirscher fractured his ankle in a training run on his first day on snow in August and missed the entire pre-season preparation. In early December, however, he won the first GS of the season.
“We were not thinking that I could win races so early in the season and now it is my best season way out,” he said. “Unbelievable, thank you for that.”
Hirscher beat Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway by 0.23 seconds, while Victor Muffat-Jeandet of France was another 0.03 back in third. It was the 11th time that Kristoffersen finished a race in second place this season, a World Cup record.
Earlier, overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin built a commanding lead in the first run of the women’s slalom at the World Cup finals.
The American led Bernadette Schild of Austria by 0.49 seconds and Petra Vlhova of Slovakia by 0.55, while Olympic slalom champion Frida Hansdotter of Sweden had 0.84 to make up in the second run.
Shiffrin secured her fifth slalom season title and second straight overall championship last week.
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