Mikaela Shiffrin misses podium as Olympic golds quest gets tougher
Plenty of talk about Mikaela Shiffrin possibly winning three gold medals in PyeongChang, but the last two days showed just how tough that task will be.
France’s Tessa Worley notched her first international giant slalom win on Saturday since claiming the world championships and World Cup titles in the event last season.
German Viktoria Rebensburg, the 2010 Olympic GS champ, was second on Saturday, extending her lead in this season’s World Cup GS standings.
Shiffrin was seventh, four days after crashing out of the previous giant slalom. Before this week, Shiffrin placed in the top six of the last 15 giant slaloms since the start of the 2016-17 season.
Lenzerheide marked the final World Cup giant slalom before the Olympics.
Shiffrin was the strongest GS racer around the new year, but Rebensburg has unquestionably been the top woman in the event over the whole season. The German has three wins and two runners-up in seven World Cup GS races.
Couple that with Swiss Wendy Holdener routing Friday’s super combined by 1.55 seconds. Holdener won the 2017 world title in the combined, though Shiffrin wasn’t in that field or in Friday’s race. Holdener also recorded both victories on home snow in Switzerland.
Shiffrin has been billed as the Olympic favorite in slalom, GS and the combined -- Sports Illustrated picked her to win all three -- but it wouldn’t shock anyone if Worley, Rebensburg or Holdener keeps the world’s best all-around skier from the record-tying triple.
Toni Sailer, Jean-Claude Killy and Janica Kostelic share the mark of three Alpine titles at a single Games.
Shiffrin headlines her trademark event, a slalom, in Lenzerheide on Sunday, streaming on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app with the second run also airing on NBCSN.
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