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Mikaela Shiffrin wins last World Cup ski race of 2023 by huge margin of 2.34 seconds for 93rd career win

Shiffrin storms to World Cup slalom win for No. 93
In Lienz, Austria, Mikaela Shiffrin won the final World Cup race of 2023 by a massive 2.34-second margin, the seventh-largest winning margin ever in a women's slalom, to capture her 93rd career victory.

LIENZ, Austria — Mikaela Shiffrin finished 2023 with an eye-catching performance even by her standards, winning a World Cup slalom race by a huge margin of 2.34 seconds for her 93rd career victory.

The American posted the fastest times by far in both runs on the Schlossberg course to finish ahead of runner-up Lena Duerr of Germany. Swiss skier Michelle Gisin was 0.11 seconds further back in third.

“Today was a very special day for me. I felt perfect on the skis, so I’m super happy,” said Shiffrin, who also won the giant slalom on the same hill. “It’s a very nice feeling right now.”

The result was the seventh-biggest winning margin ever in a women’s World Cup slalom. Shiffrin set four of those other marks, including the record of 3.07 seconds from a race in Aspen, Colorado, in November 2015.

Her American teammate Paula Moltzan, who was second after the opening leg, straddled a gate and did not finish her final run.

Shiffrin’s main rival in slalom, Olympic champion Petra Vlhova, finished 3.24 seconds behind in fifth. The Slovakian had beaten Shiffrin in a night slalom in France last week.

Seeking a record-extending 56th career win from 107 starts in slalom, Shiffrin dominated the opening run ahead of Moltzan and positioned herself for a second win in two days.

Shiffrin had a flawless first run down the Schlossberg course to lead Moltzan by a huge margin of 1.14 seconds.

Shiffrin also carved out a big lead in the GS, when she used a rather conservative second run to secure her record-extending 92nd career win. But there was no holding back in the afternoon this time, despite the packed schedule this week.

“It’s definitely a push today,” Shiffrin said after the first run. “I took the last four days of training and then straight to the race yesterday, and so I knew today would be six days in a row, it was going to be maybe a little bit tiring. But I wanted to feel comfortable with the skiing.”

Moltzan posted the fastest time in the opening section, even beating Shiffrin by 0.07, but was slowed halfway down her run when she leaned backward and her ski tips went up in the air before she quickly regained her rhythm.

Moltzan initially extended her lead over Duerr in the final run before losing time at the following splits. She straddled a gate near the end of her run.

Shiffrin and Moltzan finished 1-2 a year ago to the day at a slalom in another Austrian resort — Semmering. It was the first such result for the U.S. women in more than 51 years.

The women’s World Cup continues with a GS and a slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Jan. 6-7.