Tina Maze wraps up World Cup overall title with nine events still to go
Maze claims eighth win of the season by taking super-combi at Meribel
Slovenian set to break the magical 2,000 point barrier for the season
Alexis Pinturault of France wins men's giant slalom in Garmisch
Slovenia’s Tina Maze was crowned World Cup overall champion Sunday – landing the coveted Crystal Globe with fully nine events of the season still remaining.
Maze’s victory in the super-combined at Meribel was her eighth of a remarkable season and meant she could not be caught by her nearest rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch.
Germany’s Hoefl-Riesch fell in the slalom section of the super-combi as Maze recorded an aggregate time of one minute 59.54 seconds.
Maze had been fastest in the opening downhill on a shortened course after heavy overnight snow at the French resort and made no mistake on her slalom run..
Austrian pair Nicole Hosp and Michaela Kirchgasser finished second and third at 0.82 and 0.90 seconds.
The 29-year-old Maze has achieved 1,844 points across all races in all alpine skiing’s disciplines, finishing on the podium 18 times in a season marked by incredible consistency.
She is almost certain to break through the 2,000 point barrier by the end of the season, a feat only once achieved by Austria’s Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.
Maze also won the super-G gold at the recent world championships in Schladming in Austria and claimed two silvers in the super-combined and giant slalom.
She succeeds American Lindsey Vonn as overall champion. Vonn has been sidelined for the season after a nasty fall in super-G at the world championships.
Maze is not resting on her laurels and is targeting the individual discipline crowns in a triumphant year.
“I will stay focused and try to get all the globes possible and most important to keep that high level of performance until the end of the World Cup season”, she told the official FIS website.
Meanwhile, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher increased his advantage in the battle for the men’s overall World Cup title with second place in the giant slalom at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.
Hirscher finished 0.60 seconds behind France’s Alexis Pinturault, who was claiming his first World Cup win in the discipline.
Triple world champion Ted Ligety of the United States finished third after making crucial mistakes on his first run.
Ligety, who claimed the giant slalom title in Schladming, was only fifth going into the second leg and could not make up the deficit.
“I’ll try and take all the points I can get, I don’t think about the globes yet,” Hirscher told the official FIS website, but with his nearest rival, world downhill champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway only sixth, he has a 209 point lead in the overall standings.