KVITFJELL, Norway (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin finished tied for fifth in a World Cup downhill Saturday and had her quest for a record-tying 86th career victory extended by at least another day.
The race was won by home favorite Kajsa Vickhoff Lie, who became the first Norwegian woman to win a downhill in the 56-year history of World Cup skiing.
The result, however, was enough for Shiffrin to lock up her fifth overall World Cup title. She leads former overall champion Lara Gut-Behrami by 795 points with seven races left.
“It's pretty wild, actually. The overall, or any season title, is always strange to explain how it feels on the day you win it when you don't win the race,” Shiffrin said.
“The whole season the work has been amazing and it's quite special to, before the final races, have that secure.”
Sofia Goggia finished 0.29 behind in second as the Italian secured the season-long downhill title again.
“I feel great, I mean, it's my fourth downhill globe, the third in a row, I'm really happy about that,” Goggia said. “But I'm not so happy about the performance of today. I didn't ski that well, wasn't smooth as in the training runs.”
Olympic champion Corinne Suter and two-time former world champion Ilka Stuhec placed third and fourth, respectively.
Shiffrin and Austrian skier Ramona Siebenhofer both finished 0.79 seconds behind Lie.
Shiffrin's next race is a super-G Sunday.
The American needs one victory to match Ingemar Stenmark ’s total on the all-time overall winners list — between men and women. The Swede competed in the 1970s and 80s.
Shiffrin broke a tie on the all-time women’s list with former American teammate Lindsey Vonn in January. Vonn had 82 wins when she retired in 2019.
Shiffrin previously won the overall title three years in a row from 2017-19, and again last year. She moved into outright second position on the all-time women’s winners list, one short of the mark of six titles set by Annemarie Moser-Proell in the 1970s.
The overall record is held by another Austrian great, Marcel Hirscher, who won it for eight straight seasons from 2012-19.
Vie called her victory “amazing, it's indescribable. It's the best feeling ever," adding “I just want to have a good time skiing, and yeah, you can't have it better than when you're winning races. So yeah, I'm extremely happy.”
The race on the Olympiabakken course, which is an annual track on the men's circuit but hosted women’s races for the first time in 20 years, took place in sunny conditions, but strong winds affected the race.
Organizers decided to adapt the course and bypass the Russi jump which it deemed potentially too dangerous after skiers jumped there as far as 50 meters (yards) in training.
Cornelia Huetter, who won Friday’s super-G, lost her balance and slid off the course halfway through her run, but the Austrian avoided injuries.
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