By Peter BERLIN
(AFP) — Mikaela Shiffrin won the World Cup Super-G crystal globe for the first time Thursday, adding it to the overall title and the slalom globe she has already won this ski season.
The American, who turned 24 on Wednesday, clinched the title when she tied for fourth with Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer, 0.44sec behind winner Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany in Soldeu, Andorra.
It was enough to ensure that her only challenger Petra Vlhova of Slovakia could not catch up.
“I felt good in my skis,” Shiffrin told the post-race press conference. “I was really aggressive and I skied in the way that I wanted to. It was perfect.”
Shiffrin did not ski the downhill on the same slope and so had no advance knowledge when she attacked the Super-G course which was set up to favour speed.
“It was super fun,” Shiffrin said. “I love that speed.”
It was Shiffrin’s 10th globe but her first in one of the speed disciplines.
“I didn’t really expect it,” she said. “It’s been a pleasure to race every Super-G. In some ways, I had better results than I expected but I also had the results that I really dreamed of.”
Shiffrin is almost certain to add the giant slalom globe on Sunday when she only needs to finish in the first 15 places. That would make her the first skier — male or female — to collect World Cup titles in overall, slalom, giant slalom and super-G discipline in a single season.
– Getting taste for speed –
Shiffrin started the season with a super-G win in Lake Louise in November, which, she said changed her whole season and her attitude to racing.
“I hadn’t done really any training in super-G,” she said. “There’s no reason why I should expect to win this race. But I’ll just ski my best. I’ll be aggressive and we’ll see what happens.
“Winning the race, I was like ‘wow, this mentality really worked because I felt really free to ski just the way I wanted to and I just enjoyed it so much.
“If I can do this with Super-G and GS and slalom, the same mentality then I can really enjoy racing,” she said. “Normally I love to train but I don’t love racing. But this year it was fun to race as well.”
Her fourth place made her only the third skier to pass 2,000 points in a World Cup season.
“If you’d asked me a year ago, I’d have said I didn’t think this was possible for me.”
“Every record means something,” she said. “I feel if I’m pushing the limits of my skiing then I’m also pushing the limits of my sport to raise the level of women’s ski racing and all the girls I’m competing with they’re also doing this. So it’s a wonderful time to be competing.”
Shiffrin has won a record 15 World Cup races this season and, at 24, has 58 total victories. Ingemar Stenmark, who holds the record at 86, has reportedly said the young American could reach three figures.
“I’m also aware that the winning can stop,” Shiffrin said. “Everyone wants to be on the top step. Even though it seems like I’m close it. I still feel it can be very far away.”
“I’d love to win more downhill races but I want to that while I’m still on the top level in slalom and GS and that’s very tricky.”
Results of Thursday’s women’s Super-G in Soldeu (Andorra):
- Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) 1 min 23.91sec, 2. Tamara Tippler (AUT) 1:24.06, 3. Federica Brignone (ITA) 1:24.25, 4. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) 1:24.35, 4. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 1:24.35, 6. Jasmine Flury (SUI) 1:24.43, 7. Sofia Goggia (ITA) 1:24.47, 8. Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (NOR) 1:24.59, 9. Nadia Fanchini (ITA) 1:24.73, 10. Corinne Suter (SUI) 1:24.76
Overall World Cup standings
- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 2,004 pts, 2. Petra Vlhova (SVK) 1,235, 3. Wendy Holdener (SUI) 959, 4. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) 771, 5. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) 769, 6. Federica Brignone (ITA) 764, 7. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) 675, 8. Frida Hansdotter (SWE) 609, 9. Stephanie Venier (AUT) 528, 10. Ilka Stuhec (SLO) 507
Final World Cup Super-G standings
- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 350 pts, 2. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) 303, 3. Tina Weirather (LIE) 268, 4. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) 257, 5. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) 247
© Agence France-Presse