Shiffrin secures her 93rd career victory with an impressive 2.34-second lead in the final race of 2023.

Mikaela Shiffrin concluded 2023 with an impressive performance, exceeding her usual standards, by winning a World Cup slalom race with an astounding lead of 2.34 seconds on Friday, securing her 93rd career victory.

Shiffrin showcased her dominance by achieving the fastest times in both runs on the Schlossberg course, surpassing second-place finisher Lena Duerr of Germany by a significant margin. Swiss skier Michelle Gisin trailed 0.11 seconds behind in third place.

Expressing her delight, Shiffrin said, “Today was a truly remarkable day for me. I felt absolutely flawless on the skis, so I’m extremely happy. It’s an incredible feeling at this moment.”

The result from Friday’s race marks the seventh-largest winning margin ever recorded in a women’s World Cup slalom. Shiffrin currently holds four of the other top winning margins, including the record of 3.07 seconds achieved in a race in Aspen, Colorado, back in November 2015.

Shiffrin’s American teammate, Paula Moltzan, who held the second position after the initial run, unfortunately straddled a gate and did not finish her final run.

Finishing a notable 3.24 seconds behind in fifth place was Shiffrin’s primary rival in slalom, Olympic champion Petra Vlhova. Vlhova had triumphed over Shiffrin in a night slalom race in France just last week.

Eager to extend her record-breaking tally of 56 career wins out of 107 starts in slalom races, Shiffrin dominated the first run, leaving Moltzan far behind with a remarkable lead of 1.14 seconds.

Shiffrin also established a substantial lead in Thursday’s giant slalom, utilizing a relatively cautious second run to secure her 92nd career win, extending her record further. Nonetheless, she exhibited no restraint in the afternoon race this time, disregarding the demanding schedule of the week.

Addressing the challenging circumstances, Shiffrin commented after the first run, “Today’s definitely a demanding race. I trained for the past four days and went straight into the race yesterday, so I knew that six days in a row might be a bit exhausting. But I wanted to feel comfortable with my skiing.”

Moltzan initially achieved the fastest time in the first section, even surpassing Shiffrin by 0.07 seconds. However, she encountered a setback halfway through her run when she leaned backward and her ski tips lifted into the air. Fortunately, she swiftly regained her rhythm.

Initially, Moltzan extended her lead over Duerr in the final run but subsequently lost time at the subsequent splits. Towards the end of her run, she straddled a gate, ending her race prematurely.

On the same day, exactly a year ago, Shiffrin and Moltzan claimed the top two positions at a slalom race in Semmering, another Austrian resort. This notable achievement marked the first time in over 51 years that the US women achieved such a result.

The women’s World Cup will continue with a giant slalom and a slalom race in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, taking place on 6-7 January.

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