USA’s Shiffrin Sixth In World GS; Looks To Slalom
It was an impressive first impression for the USA’s Michaela Shiffrin as she finished sixth in the Women’s Giant Slalom Thursday at the World Alpine Ski Championships. It was her debut in a major championship.
Runaway winner in Schladming, Austria was Tessa Worley of France by 1:12 over Solvenia’s Tina Maze, with Anna Fenninger of Austria in third. This was Shiffrin’s best finish in the GS in her young career and sets her up as a podium possible in the weekend slalom. America’s Julia Mancuso was 22nd.
“It felt different than a normal World Cup start because I had really good training and had a lot of confidence going into the race,” Shiffrin said. “But in the end, it was just me, my skis and red and blue gates. It was loud but it helps me get down because the crowd has so much energy.”
Now, all eyes are focused on Friday’s Men’s Giant Slalom, where U.S. Ski Team and Olympic gold medalist star Ted Ligety will challenge for the top spot of the podium in his main event.
FIS spokespeople are begging spectators to arrive early for the 10 a.m. local start where the 30,000-seat finish line stadium is totally sold out. Traffic to Schladming from all directions is expected to be particularly gnarly. The men’s GS is expected to garner a gigantic audience around the world, particularly in ski race-happy Europe.
Meanwhile, in Russia, Olympic champion Kelly Clark took a dominating win under the lights at a challenging event in the Sochi Olympic halfpipe. Clark won with an 88.25 on her first run in the FIS Snowboard World Cup. Scotty Lago finished third in men's behind Japan's Taku Hiraoku. It was the first World Cup in the Sochi halfpipe at Rosa Khutor near Krasnaya Polyana in the mountains outside of Sochi.
Photo: Michaela Shiffrin in World Championship GS (usskiteam.com)