Mikaela Shiffrin wins gold in the ladies slalom at the Alpine World Ski Championships
U.S. teenager becomes first woman to successfully defend a slalom world title in 10 years
Second U.S. gold after Ted Ligety in giant slalom
NEW: Jean-Baptiste Grange wins concluding men's slalom at championships
U.S. teenager Mikaela Shiffrin successfully defended her slalom title at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado, Saturday by the slimmest of margins.
The hometown favorite edged out Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter by just 0.34 seconds, securing a combined time of 1 minute 38.48 seconds over two runs.
Shiffrin scored the fastest first run time by 0.4 seconds but had to make up 0.38 seconds in the closing stages of her second outing to take gold and ensure she matched her medal-winning achievements of Schladming in 2013.
The 19-year-old, who is also the reigning Olympic slalom champion, becomes the first woman to successfully defend a world title in the discipline since Croatia’s Janica Costelic did so in 2005.
Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic finished 0.43sec back of Hansdotter to claim the final podium spot.
Shiffrin’s win marked the second gold for the U.S. at the championships following Ted Ligety’s giant slalom victory Friday.
“It’s pretty crazy now that I think about it,” Shiffrin told the official U.S. ski team website.
“Just before my second run, I started to convince myself how much I wanted to win this race. It’s about the process; it’s about the turns. I’m happy.”
Sunday saw the conclusion of the championships with the men’s slalom and gold for France’s Jean-Baptiste Grange, who regained the title he won in 2011.
Baptiste clocked an aggregate time of one minute 57.47 seconds over the two runs to beat German skier Fritz Dopfer by 0.35 seconds.
Another German, World Cup slalom leader Felix Neureuther took the bronze.
They all benefited from a lapse by overall World Cup points leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who was fastest on the first leg, but skied off the course second time down when looking set to win his second gold in Colorado.