Hirscher claims World Cup giant slalom title

first_img KEYWORDS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Hirscher now leads Pinturault by 185 points in the giant slalom standings with only one race left at the World Cup finals in Meribel next week.More significantly, Hirscher left his nearest rival in the race for the overall title’s big globe, Kjetil Jansrud, 124 points behind after the Norwegian could do no better than 23rd on the Slovenian course.It was Hirscher’s second giant slalom title after 2012, Olympic and world champion Ted Ligety having dominated the last two editions.But the American, a six-time winner in Kranjska Gora, had to be content with fourth place, 1.88 seconds behind Pinturault.France’s Thomas Fanara was third, 0.93 off the pace.“In the last couple of years, to win the giant slalom globe had become impossible. Ted did not leave us a chance to dream about the crystal. You just had to hope for him to make a mistake to win a race,” Hirscher said.“It was a hard road to take it back for I spent most of the last two years working on my giant slalom skills at the expense of the slalom. I was the last skier to win it before the rules changed and I really wanted it back badly,” he added.Shiffrin nears crownAPAre, Sweden — After outclassing her opponents to win her fourth World Cup slalom race of the season, Mikaela Shiffrin invited a young girl with a bashful smile to join her on the podium.Emma Lundell, 13, is fighting leukemia. Though it’s not over yet, she is starting to win that battle, and cites Shiffrin’s courage on the slopes as her biggest inspiration.“I feel that beats anything I can do on the race hill,” an emotional Shiffrin said after the award ceremony Saturday in Are. “So she deserves to be on the top step of the podium.”Shiffrin clocked the fastest time in both runs to beat second-placed Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia by 1.41 seconds. Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic was third, 2.15 back.The result means Shiffrin, who turned 20 on Friday, is close to winning her third consecutive crystal globe as the best slalom skier on the World Cup circuit at the season finals in Meribel.Her closest rival, Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, finished sixth. To beat Shiffrin in the slalom standings, Hansdotter needs to win the final race while Shiffrin fails to make the top 20.“I will do what I can,” Hansdotter said. “But she is fantastic and in a class of her own right now.”Despite her youth, Shiffrin already is Olympic and double world champion in slalom. She has 13 World Cup wins in slalom and one in giant slalom. Second place good enough: Austria’s Marcel Hirscher competes in the first run of a World Cup giant slalom in Kranska Gora, Slovenia, on Saturday. | REUTERS KRANJSKA GORA, SLOVENIA – Marcel Hirscher sealed the World Cup giant slalom title and took another step toward the overall prize when he finished second to France’s Alexis Pinturault in Kranjska Gora on Saturday.Pinturault claimed his second win of the season after the Kitzbuehel super-combined, beating the Austrian three-time World Cup champion by 0.68 seconds.center_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 RELATED PHOTOS Marcel Hirscher, World Cup giant slalom, Alexis Pinturault last_img

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