Mikaela Shiffrin capped the best year of her career by reaching another milestone Saturday, overtaking one of her childhood idols to become the most successful female slalom skier in the 52-year history of the World Cup.
In the last race of 2018, a slalom in Semmering, Austria, the American added her 36th victory. Shiffrin previously shared the record with Austria’s Marlies Raich, who, competing as Marlies Schild, won 35 times before retiring in 2014.
“She is my biggest idol beside Bode Miller,” Shiffrin said. “When I was young I wanted to be the best skier in the world. I was always watching Marlies, she was a legend. To me, she is the best slalom skier. I wouldn’t be here without her. For me, she has this record forever.”
Only Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark has won more World Cup slaloms, 40, between 1974 and 1987.
Watched by 10,200 fans on the Zauberberg, Shiffrin built on a big first-run lead to beat Petra Vlhova of Slovakia by 0.29 of a second and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland by 0.38 for her 51st career victory.
By winning Saturday, Shiffrin also became the first skier, male or female, to win 15 World Cup races in a calendar year, moving one victory past men’s overall champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who has won 14 times in 2018.
•Italy’s Dominik Paris made it two World Cup victories in two days, winning a men’s super-G race in Bormio, Italy, by 0.01 of a second over Olympic champion Matthias Mayer of Austria.
“It’s been two fantastic days,” Paris said. “I don’t have the words to describe it.”
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway finished third, 0.46 behind.
Liverpool extends lead in EPL race
Roberto Firmino scored three goals as host Liverpool beat Arsenal 5-1 to open a nine-point lead over second-place Tottenham in the English Premier League standings.
“I’m not the smartest person in the world but I’m really not an idiot,” Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said. “It’s not important how many points you are ahead in December … if we drop three points, the next headline is, ‘Are they nervous now?’”
•In Italy’s Serie A, Napoli fans and players showed their support for defender Kalidou Koulibaly during a win over Bologna after he was subjected to racist chants during a midweek match against Inter Milan. With Koulibaly suspended, Napoli fullback Faouzi Ghoulam warmed up wearing the Senegal international’s No. 26 shirt. Fans held up photos of Koulibaly and anti-racism banners with the hashtag label #SiamotuttiKalidou, which translates as “We’re all Kalidou.” … Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as first-place Juventus escaped with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria. Ronaldo’s efforts gave him 14 goals in 19 matches this season to move one ahead of Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek atop the league scoring chart.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Mikaela-Shiffrin-wins-36th-World-Cup-slalom-race-13497934.php.